DRDO hands over air MRSAM system to Indian Air Force
New Delhi, September 10, 2021
The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over the first deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) system to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Air Force Station, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan on Thursday.
This is a significant boost to India's defence capabilities, a press release from the Ministry of Defence said.
The MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network centric combat Air Defence System developed jointly by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with the Indian industry comprising private and public sector companies, including MSMEs.
Secretary, Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy handed over the first deliverable Firing Unit to Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria.
During the event, DRDO and IAI officials demonstrated the capabilities of the MRSAM system, as part of the On-Site Acceptance Test (OSAT), the release said.
Rajnath Singh lauded the joint efforts of DRDO, IAI, various inspection agencies, public and private industry partners in developing, what he termed, one of the best state-of-the-art missile systems in the world.
“With the handing over of MRSAM system to IAF, we have taken a giant leap towards achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will prove to be a game-changer in the air-defence-system,” he added.
The Minister reiterated the Government’s resolve to strengthen the security infrastructure of the country to deal with any challenges arising out of the rapidly changing global strategic scenario. Modernisation of the Armed Forces and building a self-reliant defence industry were being accorded top priority. Stressing the need for a strong military, he said the Government was leaving no stone unturned to ensure the security and overall development of the country.
These included setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board; notification of two positive indigenisation lists of over 200 items to increase exports and the Transfer of Technology (ToT) by DRDO to the private sector. He expressed confidence that India will soon be self-reliant in defence manufacturing as well as become a global manufacturing hub of defence systems.
Rajnath Singh reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to bolster the technological base through indigenous research, design and development, with a focus on "Make in India, Make for the world". He highlighted that close cooperation between technology partners and friendly countries had led to rapid progress towards realising this vision and the development of MRSAM is a great example of such collaborative effort.
He described the development of the MRSAM system as a shining example of the close partnership between India and Israel, adding that handing over the system to IAF has taken this decades-old friendship to greater heights. It has played an important role in strengthening the defence industrial base of India and Israel, he added. On the creation of new test facilities and infrastructure in the development of this programme, he said it will be helpful in producing quality products for both countries in the future. He termed the sub-systems being manufactured for this programme as a great example of synergy between Indian public and private sector companies.
On the occasion, the Minister remembered former President A P J Abdul Kalam, terming him a visionary who paved the way for self-reliance in the defence sector, especially in the missile development programme. He said around 30 years ago, Kalam had initiated the Integrated Missile Development Programme at a time when scientists were facing various restrictions in the field of technology. Despite all this, the success of the programme not only ensured self-reliance in missile development but also thwarted the possibility of any cross-border threat.
The MRSAM system provides point and area air defence for ground assets against a wide range of threats including fighter aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, guided and unguided munitions, sub-sonic & supersonic cruise missiles, and so on. It is capable of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 km in severe saturation scenarios. The missile is powered by an indigenously developed rocket motor and control system for achieving high manoeuvrability during the terminal phase.
The firing unit comprises Missiles, Combat Management System (CMS), Mobile Launcher Systems (MLS), Advanced Long-Range Radar, Mobile Power System (MPS), Radar Power System (RPS), Reloader Vehicle (RV) and Field Service Vehicle (FSV).
Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria congratulated the efforts of the entire team of MRSAM (IAF) and stated that the system will bolster the air defence capabilities of the country. DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy complimented the teams involved in the development of the MRSAM system.
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, AOC-in-C, South Western Air Command Air Marshal Sandeep Singh and IAI President & CEO Boaz Levy and other senior civil and military officials were also present on the occasion.