INDIAN ARMY TO TRANSER $1.2 BILLION MRSAM PROJECT TO INDO-ISRAELI VENTURE
21 Jan 09. Having failed to find a replacement for India’s Russian-made air defence system, Kvadrat, the defence ministry is considering
giving development of the Indian Army Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile(MRSAM)to a proposed Indo-Israeli consortia. India had not able to get adequate number of bidders for the MRSAM tender floated early in 2008 forcing the government to abandon the bid.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) was sent to Rafae, MBDA, Raytheon, Rheinmetall Defence, and KBP Tula of Russia. Only Rafael responded to the bid at bid closure in late 2008.
Thus, the government is cancelling the bid and is considering giving the MRSAM program to the proposed Indo-Israeli Indian Air Force joint MRSAM bidders.
“The Indo-Israeli joint MRSAM project for the Indian Air Force will also integrate desired features for the Indian Army,” said an Indian defence ministry official.
The joint Indo-Israeli MRSAM project will be developed jointly by Rafael and IAI of Israel and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO].
The Indian government had given formal clearance to the Indo-IAI joint program on MRSAM, but funding has yet to be released. “The project will get formal go-ahead before the expiry of the ruling United Progressive Alliance government in mid-2009,” said sources. “This makes the Indo-Israeli joint-MRSAM program worth around $10 billion long-term,” added the source.
One regiment of MRSAM (18 systems) is estimated to cost around $1.2 billion. “here is a total requirement of around four MRSAM systems in the future,”said sources in the Indian defence ministry. The proposed Indo-IAI program for joint development of MRSAM for the Indian Air Force is worth over $3 billion.
“The overseas bidders had problems with the Indian defence ministry’s tender condition on technology transfer on maintenance in particular, which led to the poor response,” added the
The tender had made it conditional that the depot level maintenance (third level) and the life-time support of MRSAM be carried out through state-owned M/S Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). Moreover BDL would be responsible for providing base/depot-level repairs and the requisite spares for the entire life-cycle of the equipment. The vendor was supposed to set up infrastructure and third line repair facilities at BDL facilities, a condition which was not accepted to most of the bidders.
The RFP also stipulated that maintenance-level technology be transferred by the bidder for the manufacture of spares and assemblies, including the radar, radio, C2 system, missile, tracked and wheeled vehicles, optronic equipment and other sensors.
MRSAM is a low-to-medium-level, quick reaction groundbased SAM system capable of moving with mechanized forces and providing intrinsic mobile air defence protection. The system would be able to engage all types of airborne targets at maximum effective missile range.
The missile range would be more than 50 kilometers, and a target speed of 0 to 800 meters per second for approaching targets and 0 to 350 meters per second for receding targets, and ability to engage hovering helicopters.
The system should have a suitable warhead with a self-destruct facility in the air to avoid unwanted collateral damage. The system should have an active seeker with the option of a passive seeker. An electro optic system to enable the system to track targets in hostile Electronic Counter Measure (ECM)environment.
The system should be able to operate continuously for 24 hours, for sustained operation, it should be able to operate for 12 hours, with a break of two hours and operate for another 12 hour cycle. It should be
possible to repeat the cycle for 30 days. The system should
have NBC protection and have night vision devices with an operating range of 100 meters for the crew commander and 50 mete