India (Sputnik) – Indian and Israeli scientists are conducting series of tests of their joint venture Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) from a defense base in eastern India.
Thousands of persons have been shifted to other areas as a precautionary measure and fishermen have been asked to not to enter the coast of the Bay of Bengal during tests. Government sources told Sputnik that five tests of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile would be conducted from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea.
Indian Minister of Defense Manohar Parrikar said, “MR-SAM can detect incoming enemy aircraft at a distance of 100 km and destroy them at ranges up to 70 km.”
Sources say that the Indian Air Force will be equipped with 450 missiles while Indian Army could also order land version of MRSAM including 14 firing units. The Indian Army will replace Russian-made Kvadrat and OSA-AKM systems bought in the 70’s and 80’s.
Research Development Laboratory, a laboratory of the Defence Research Development Organisation, has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries at cost of USD 1.514 bln.
Many Indian industries like BEL, L&T, BDL, the Tata group and other private industries have contributed to the development of a number of subsystems which have been put into use in this flight test.
The project is running behind schedule by 3 years and is expected to be inducted in 2017.
This report prepared by Sputnik News.