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Indo-Israeli SAM projects in trouble, still recovering

But Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) sources say, ‘This was a new technology and even for Israel, it was a new arena.’

Since the project was formed on 50:50 work sharing basis, the Israelis were supposed to develop front end technology for the fore portion of the missiles like navigation instrumentation, advanced sensors and the main chip of the missile. The DRDO was to provide the control systems and propulsion that was to constitute the after the end part of the two kinds of SAMs.

The problems were faced at both stages. Considering that the missiles were to be state-of-the art, the speed to terminal stage and manoeuvrability were two key capabilities of the missile. The lacunae of the missile systems were discovered at the test firing stages, and each issue that came up had to be addressed, a DRDO source said. ‘The deviations from the desired level had to be corrected.’

However, the ships dedicated to carry the missiles are being readied by integration of radar systems on board ships and other ancillaries. This signifies that the LR-SAM project, which was to be delivered first by 2012, is almost on the final stage of completion. The MR-SAM that is to be delivered by 2017 will also miss the planned timeline.

The dates for delivery have been rescheduled, though a DRDO source was not willing to make any guess.

The LR-SAM project was conceived in 2006 at an estimated cost of about Rs 2,606 crore. The MR-SAM project was commissioned in 2009. The total cost of the two projects together will be over Rs 50,000 crore.
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