Qioptiq logo Raytheon


By Bulbul Singh

24 Nov 08. Indian Army’s quest for getting the much needed Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missiles (QRSAM) is delayed again as
the $1.4 billion bid floated in April 2008 is heading for
cancellation. Bids were sent toIsrael’s Rafael, Rheinmetall
Defence of Germany, Raytheon of the United States, Russia’s KPB
Tula, MBDA of France. “Only MBDA and Rafael have filed their technical and commercial bids,” said a senior Indian defence ministry official, adding, “The other bidders have requested change in technical parameters.”

“The Indian defence ministry is considering cancellation of the bid, to allow more participation and even make changes in qualitative requirements to get better QRSAMs.” said sources in the Indian defence ministry.

The bidders are critical of the Indian Army’s demand for going in for seeker technology which they say is only effective in air-to-air battle, but has serious limitations in the ground-to-air battle. Some of the foreign bidders have asked the Indian Army to opt for
Optronics Laser Guided Missiles for the QRSAM requirement. Some of the overseas bidders have said that they had a 12 kilometres range QRSAM as standard and needed to spend more on increasing the range to the required 15 kilometres as demanded by the Indian Army.

Sources in the Indian defence ministry also added that Raytheon did not receive government permission for the Transfer of Technology.

The global tender was for procurement of three regiments of QRSAM system and 1485 missiles with Transfer of Technology (TOT).

The QRSAM system is to be employed for providing air defence to the mechanized formations operating in the plains, semi-desert, and deserts of India. The technical parameters require that the QRSAM should be a quick-reaction system capable of engaging all types of air targets including aircraft, hovering helicopter and helicopters on the ground, low flying and with their rotors moving, targets including suddenly appearing targets at close ranges, missiles and other futuristic aerial targets.

The missile characteristics include a range of not less then 15
kilometres, crossover range of not less than 6 kilometres and
altitude of 10 meters to 9 kilometres.

“Currently Indian defence forces, particularly the Indian Army,
need to shore up their air defence systems, as the erstwhile
USSR designed system needs replacement and immediate upgrade.”
said an Indian Army officer.

Indian defenceforces have so far been forced to postpone their upgrade and replacement plans as they had been awaiting the
Akash home-produced air defence system, under development since 1989 and rejected on several occasions by the Indian defence forces users on technical grounds.

The Indian Army has plans to replace the Russian OSA-AK air defence systems numbering around 100 and also the aging Russian-built Kvadrat, Shilka and Tunguska air defence systems

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