France's still hope a $6 billion contract for MBDA - DRDO Maitri surface-to-air missile system 02011

 
Defense & Security Industry News - India / France
 
 
France's still hope a $6 billion contract for MBDA - DRDO Maitri surface-to-air missile system.
France is hoping that the new Indian government push to continue the Indo-French $6 billion surface-to-air missile systems project, called Maitri. The Maitri missile project involved a technological collaboration between MBDA, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and defence public sector unit Bharat Dynamics Limited.
     
France is hoping that the new Indian government push to continue the Indo-French $6 billion surface-to-air missile systems project, called Maitri. The Maitri missile project involved a technological collaboration between MBDA, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and defence public sector unit Bharat Dynamics Limited.Futuristic view of Indo-French Maitri missile system
     

Refusing to comment about the Maitri project, sources in DRDO said that the Akash missile is already in play and is based on a similar platform like the Maitri.

The project for joint development and production between India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and France's MBDA, was initiated in 2007 and a MoU to co-develop the surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) was signed during French President Francois Hollande's visit to India in February last year.

Since then, the situation has changed as Indian Air Force feels that its requirements could be met by indigenous Akash surface-to-air missile weapon system.

According MBDA, the range of SRSAM will be of 40 km, Akash's range is only 25 km.

Sources at Indian Air Force said that they have nothing against the Maitri project per se but would prefer to use the available Akash missile rather than wait for the Indo-French ones to come.

However, the French are pushing for Maitri. "SRSAM is part of our strategic dialogue with India and is raised whenever top officials and leaders from both sides meet. We believe that a lot of information has been handed over after the new government has taken over in Delhi," an MBDA official said.

French officials said that both Akash and Maitri can be inducted as the two will improve overall weapon system of India.

MBDA believes that the Maitri will be better for India as it will be "more cost-effective to develop a new missile than to upgrade a missile based on outdated propulsion".

India is working on Akash Mark-II with longer range and MBDA is even calling Maitri as a potential Akash Mark-II.

As per the deal, the Maitri missiles will be produced only in India and the first deliveries will happen three years after the agreement is signed.

 

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