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[Boycott - Arms]

Indo-Israeli air defence project gets green light


Rajat Pandit, Times of India
13 July 2007

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday cleared a gigantic Rs 10,000-crore ($2.5 billion) project with Israel to develop an advanced medium-range surface-to-air (MR-SAM) missile system capable of detecting and destroying hostile aircraft, missiles and spy drones at a range of 70 km.

The project, approved by Cabinet Committee on Security, will provide IAF with nine advanced air defence squa-drons, each with two MR-SAM firing units, for "protection of vital and strategic ground assets and area air defence".

The project is crucial because, as highlighted by TOI earlier, there are still "many gaping holes" in India’s radar network and the armed forces only have near-obsolete air defence units like Russian-origin Pechora, OSA-AK and Igla missile systems.

Sources said the MR-SAM project is actually an extension of the ongoing DRDO-Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) project, launched in January 2006 at a cost of $480 million, to develop a supersonic 60-km Barak-NG (new-generation) missile defence system for Navy.

"The Barak MR-SAM for IAF will have an even longer range, with the capability to engage multiple targets up to 70 km. Each of the 18 firing units will have a command-and-control centre, an acquisition radar, a guidance radar and three launchers with eight missiles each," said a source.

It was even claimed the MR-SAM system, which will take four-five years to develop, will be "even more capable" than the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 terminal air defence missile system, which the US has been aggressively hawking to India for some years.

But the armed forces are wary of associating the name ‘Barak’ with the new project due to allegations of kickbacks being paid in the original Rs 1,160-crore ($290 million) procurement deal, signed in October 2000, for Barak-I systems for Navy.

The CBI had last year registered a case in the Barak-I deal, naming former defence minister George Fernandes, his party associates Jaya Jaitly and R K Jain, and alleged middle-man Suresh Nanda as the accused.

Much to the Navy’s dismay, former Navy chief Admiral Sushil Kumar was also named in the FIR. "The Bofors controversy in the 1980s badly hit the Army’s artillery modernisation programme, from which it is still to recover. The same should not happen with Barak, which is a superb system," said a senior officer.

Be that as it may, the new DRDO-IAI project is yet another indicator that Indo-Israeli strategic ties are zooming full-steam ahead, with India buying Israeli military equipment worth a whopping $1.6 billion just in 2006 alone.

To further augment air defence capabilities, IAF is also on course to procure 18 Spyder quick-reaction low-level missile systems from Israel, worth over Rs 1,800 crore ($450 million).

India, incidentally, also acquired the advanced "Green Pine" early-warning fire-control radar from Israel, which can detect and track incoming missiles from around 500 km away, five years ago. Interestingly, the long-range tracking radar was based on the Green Pine radar, which forms an integral part of the Israeli Arrow-2 BMD system.

rajat.pandit@timesgroup.com


Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Indo-Israeli_air_defence_project_gets_green_light/ articleshow/2199201.cms



India to develop advanced missile system with Israel



2007-07-13


India and Israel have increased cooperation in varied fields particularly in military and intelligence ventures since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992.

According government estimates, Israel has become India's second biggest defence supplier after Russia, providing military equipment worth 1.6 billion dollars in 2006.

New Delhi - India has started a 2.5-billion-dollar joint venture with Israel to develop an advanced range surface-to-air missile capable of detecting and destroying hostile aircraft, missiles and spy planes, news reports said Friday. India's Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday approved the project between the Defence Research and Development Organization and Israel Aerospace Industries for developing the missile system which would have a range of about 70 kilometres, the Times of India daily reported.

The venture would work towards developing an air defence system for the Indian Air Force to replace its ageing Soviet-era Pechoura missile system.

The Israeli help comes after repeated delays in the indigenous Akash missile project that is still to undergo user trials, the Indian Express newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, sources told the IANS news agency that 18 command and launch systems would be built for the new missile system. The new missile is likely to be an advanced version of the Israeli Spyder quick-reaction missile which has an effective range of 55 kilometres.

India and Israel are already in a 14-billion-rupee project to develop an extended-range version of the Barak missile that is deployed on frontline Indian Navy warships. The next-generation Barak will have a 70-kilometre range against the 10-kilometre radius of the existing missile.

India and Israel have increased cooperation in varied fields particularly in military and intelligence ventures since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992.

According government estimates, Israel has become India's second biggest defence supplier after Russia, providing military equipment worth 1.6 billion dollars in 2006.

India has already acquired the Green Pine early-warning radar from Israel.

Other joint-venture projects are underway for spy planes, electronic warfare systems and AWACS (airborne warning and control systems), while Israel is helping India with the modernization of its Soviet-era fighter jets and tanks.

Source: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/82370.html



India clears Rs10,000 crore ($2.5 billion) next generation air defence project


Domain-B (India Business Magazine)
2007-07-13


New Delhi: India's ageing air-defence resources are due to undergo a generational change, with the government sanctioning the joint development and co-production of a new generation of medium range surface-to-air missiles (MR-SAM) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The missiles will be co-developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the IAF in partnership with Israeli defence major, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The cabinet committee on security (CCS), which met under the chairmanship of prime minister, Manmohan Singh cleared the setting up of a joint venture for the production of the missiles on Thursday, at an estimated cost of Rs10,000 crore ( US$2.5 billion).

The new generation, 70 km range, Barak missiles are intended to secure the country's strategic assets from increasingly sophisticated aerial and missile threats in the region.

The DRDO has been designated as the "prime contractor" for the project, which will have an indigenous component of Rs2,300 crore.

The new generation missiles are meant to replace the IAF's ageing force of Russian-made Pechora, OSA-AK and Igla missile systems, and also plug some dangerous gaps in the country's air defence network.

Barak - II (MR-SAM)


According to defence sources, the MR-SAM project is actually an extension of the ongoing DRDO-Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) project to develop a 50-km Barak-II missile defence system for Indian Navy.

According to some reports, the project was launched in January 2006 at a cost of $480 million. However, DRDO chief, M Natarajan has emphatically denied any DRDO connection with a Barak missile development project at the Aero India 2007 show at Yelahanka, Bangalore in February this year. So this is an issue that will require some clarifications.

The NG (new-generation) Barak MR-SAM for the IAF will have a longer range, with the capability to engage multiple targets up to a range of 70 km. According to defence sources, the NG Barak will be part of a robust system designed to counter a wide variety of threats to ground assets and also serve as area defence.

According to sources, up to nine air defence squadrons would be inducted by the IAF, with each squadron consisting of two units. Each of the 18 firing units will have a command-and-control centre, an acquisition radar, a guidance radar and three launchers with eight missiles each.

According to reports, the MR-SAM system may take a few years to develop and will be even more capable than the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 terminal air defence missile system, which the US has offered to India.

Recently, India concluded an Rs180 crore deal for acquiring 18 Spyder quick reaction surface-to -air missile systems for countering threats from low-flying aircraft. The Spyder systems are being produced under licence at Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics limited.

The CCS's Thursday meeting was attended by defence minister AK Antony, external affairs minister, Pranab Mukherjee, finance minister, P Chidambaram and home minister, Shivraj Patil.

During the 65-minute meeting, the CCS also reviewed the security situation in South Asia.


Source: http://www.domain-b.com/aero/july/2007/20070713_defence.htm


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