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By Bulbul Singh

22 May 08. The Indian Army has been successful in persuading the Indian government to buy Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) systems and missiles from overseas without waiting for the completion of the homegrown QRSAM. The Indian defence ministry is now on a global hunt to purchase QRSAM missiles worth billions of dollars.

The homegrown QRSAM, Akash, under development for over two decades has not come up to the expectations of the Indian Army and they chose to go to the international market to buy their requirement of QRSAM systems and missiles to meet the urgent needs of the air defence requirements, said a senior Indian Army official. “There are already holes in Indian Army’s air defence system, and we cannot afford to wait for the homegrown system any longer”, said the Army official.

The Indian defence ministry has now floated a limited global tender seeking technical and commercial proposals for procurement of three regiments of QRSAM system with Transfer of Technology (TOT) and also purchase of 1485 missiles with ToT for missiles.

The whole contract is estimated to cost over $1.4bn and also carries a mandatory offset of 30 per cent of the total value of the contract which the vendor will have to guarantee to fulfil.

As per the method of procurement, a quantity of 1485 missiles is required to be delivered to the Indian Armed Forces under TOT. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) would ensure complete transfer of technology to M/S Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) of India within the supply of 1485 missiles. The OEM will quote for supply of Fully Formed (FF)missiles, and Semi-Knocked Down, (SKD)Completely Knocked Down (CKD) Indigenous Manufacture (IM) and for their work share for balance missiles. The production agency, i.e. BDL will be equipped to attain all the capabilities relating to the absorption of ToT in a phased manner.

Under the first phase 300 Fully Formed missiles will be delivered and this phase will be utilized for ToT documentation and setting up of the production facilities at the production agency under the supervision of the OEM.

In the Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) phase, the production agency will be required to supply from SKD kits, for 375 missiles. During the CKD phase the production agency will be required to supply from CKD kits for 510 missiles. In the IM phase the production agency will be required to supply 300 missiles.

Under the delivery terms, Scheduled One Regiment would be delivered to the users within 12 to 18 months of contract signature along with 225 missiles. The balance of two regiments would be delivered within 30 months of signature along with 450 missiles. The balance of 810 missiles will be delivered at the rate of 162 missiles per year for the next five years.

After the specified Warranty period, Indian technicians would repair and maintain the equipment. To enable this process, an appropriate Engineering Support Package (ESP) would be provided to the supplier. The vendor would be required to assure that he is in a position to provide product support in terms of maintenance, materials, and spares for a minimum of 25 years. The vendor will also provide training to the crew, maintenance personnel and quality assurance specialists.

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

The QRSAM should be able to effectively engage aerial targets flying with speed from zero m/sec to 500m/sec up to 9 kilometres altitude including hovering h

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