GOA, India — India and France are showcasing a static mock-up of a vertical-launch short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) for naval applications at the MBDA stand at Defexpo, that world has never seen before.
India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and MBDA of France will jointly develop and build SRSAM systems in India to meet the requirements of the Indian Navy and other nations' navies.
SRSAM systems will replace the Indian Navy's Israeli Barak-1 air defense systems and its ageing Russian close-in weapon systems.
One DRDO scientist said the project is still awaiting the Indian government's blessing for final approval but declined to comment when the contract will be awarded.
Weighing around 100 kilograms, SRSAM is a Mach 3-class missile, has a range of 40 kilometers, is used for naval air defense applications and is launched vertically to provide 360-degree defense coverage.
Full SRSAM systems comprise missile launchers, radar sensors and combat management system .
SRSAM will sport a smokeless solid rocket motor, low-aspect ratio wings and jet vane control for thrust vector control. It also boasts a single shot kill probability (SSKP) of at least 70 percent for a single missile fired and 85 percent for a salvo shot involving two missiles.
In addition, the SRSAM system will be able to handle saturating attacks carried out simultaneously by threats ranging from fast-combat aircraft to supersonic sea-skimming anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles and UCAVs.
State-owned Bharat Dynamics will be the lead production agency, and around 50 private Indian companies will be prime and secondary suppliers.
A senior Ministry of Defence official said the country aims to produce as many as 10,000 missiles, which would provide jobs in India for at least 20 years.
Loïc Piedevache, MBDA's country head for India, said: "Over the last few years, we have set up a network of industry partners around the country that is already working not only on our ongoing Indian projects but is also making a significant contribution to our global supply chain. This network is ready to get to work on SRSAM, and first deliveries of this new generation defense capability to the Indian Navy could be taking place within three years, all we need is the go-ahead."
Piedevache said MBDA is prepared to share with India the cutting-edge technology the company has developed over decades for the Make in India initiative.
Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Defense News.