INDO-FRENCH ‘MAITRI’ MISSILE PROGRAMME TO TAKE OFF
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.