Indian Army will receive an advanced medium-range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system by 2020 which will be able to shoot down missiles, fighter jets and attack helicopters at a range of around 70 km.
The missile system will be developed by India’s Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a senior army official said.
The current version of missile system is operational with the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy. The MR-SAM is the land-based version of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) for the Navy.
The Indian Army ordered five regiments of this version, which consists of about 40 launchers/ firing units and 200 missiles for ₹17,000 crore (US$2.7 billion)
The MRSAM system will be capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft, the official said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“The MRSAM for Army’s Air Defence is an advanced all weather, 360-degree mobile land based theatre air defence system capable of providing air defence to critical areas against a wide variety of threats in a combat zone,” the official said. The first set of missile system will be ready in the next three years, he added.
The system consists of a command and control system, tracking radar, missile and mobile launcher systems. Each launcher will have eight such missiles in two stacks and are launched in a canister configuration. The system is also fitted with an advanced radio frequency (RF) seeker.
The Army has been pressing the government to enhance its aerial attack capability considering the evolving security challenges. The Army thinks procurement of the MRSAM will mark a paradigm shift in its strike capability.