INDO-FRENCH ‘MAITRI’ MIS­SILE PRO­GRAMME TO TAKE OFF

SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

The Maitri short-range sur­face to air mis­sile (SR-SAM) is ready to be be­come a for­mal bi­lat­eral pro­gramme, with In­dia’s the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) as lead part­ner and MBDA as an equal part­ner and tech­nol­ogy provider. Top DRDO sources in­di­cate that the agree­ment will be signed this fi­nan­cial year and has re­ceived all req­ui­site ap­provals.

Top sources have in­formed SP’s that the In­dian MoD has ac­corded fi­nal ap­proval to the SR-SAM deal, which now awaits fi­nal clear­ance from the Fi­nance Min­istry and the Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Se­cu­rity. The work­share works out to roughly 60 per cent French and 40 per cent In­dian, with an over­all cost of about $6 bil­lion.

The own­er­ship of the Maitri pro­gramme is to be fully In­dian. With base­line tech­nolo­gies from the Tr­ishul SAM pro­gramme, the Maitri pro­gramme ba­si­cally en­vis­ages the sale of cer­tain key tech­nolo­gies by MBDA to DRDO (seeker, endgame avion­ics, thrust vec­tor con­trol, propul­sion mod­i­fi­ca­tions), though pro­duc­tion will not be un­der a cor­po­rate joint ven­ture on the lines of BrahMos, but would rather be car­ried out en­tirely by the Bharat Dy­nam­ics Ltd in the coun­try.

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