BHUBANESWAR: In a significant boost to India’s defence capabilities, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh handed over the first deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) System to Indian Air Force (IAF) at Jaisalmer Air Force Station in Rajasthan on Thursday.
Developed jointly by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Indian industry, the MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network-centric combat Air Defence System.
Secretary of Department of Defence (Research and Development) and DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy handed over the firing unit to the Defence Minister, who in turn presented it to Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.
The DRDO and IAI officials demonstrated the capabilities of the MRSAM system, as part of the On-Site Acceptance Test (OSAT) during the event.
Terming the MRSAM, one of the best state-of-the-art missiles in the world, the Defence Minister said the weapon will prove to be a game-changer in the air-defence system.
He reiterated the government’s resolve to strengthen the security infrastructure of the country to deal with any challenges arising out of the rapidly changing global strategic scenario.
“Modernisation of the armed forces and building a self-reliant defence industry are being accorded top priority. The government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the security and overall development of the country,” Singh said besides stressing the need for a strong military.
The Defence Minister described the development of the MRSAM system as a shining example of the close partnership between India and Israel, adding that handing over of the system to IAF has taken the decades-old friendship to greater heights.
The new test facilities and infrastructure in the development of the missile system, Singh said, will be helpful in producing quality products for both countries in the future. The sub-systems being manufactured for the programme is a great example of synergy between Indian public and private sector companies, he added.
The MRSAM system provides point and area air defence for ground assets against a wide range of threats including fighter aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, guided and unguided munitions, subsonic and supersonic cruise missiles.
Powered by an indigenously developed rocket motor and control system for achieving high manoeuvrability during the terminal phase, the missile is capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 km in extreme conditions.
The firing unit comprises missiles, combat management system, mobile launcher system, advanced long-range radar, mobile power system, radar power system, reloader vehicle and field service vehicle.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief of Air Staff said the system will bolster the air defence capabilities of the country. The DRDO Chairman complimented the teams involved in the development of the MRSAM system.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), South Western Air Command Air Marshal Sandeep Singh and President and IAI CEO Boaz Levy were present along with other senior civil and military officials.