New Orders Expand Indian LRSAM Integration to More Vessels

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LRSAM missile launched from INMS Kochi, on its first firing test, May 17, 2017.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced today it has been awarded an additional, $630 million- contract for the supply of LRSAM air & missile defense systems for four ships of the Indian navy. The type of ships was not released but are likely to be Project 15B Visakhapatnam-class missile destroyers, scheduled for commissioning from 2018 through 2024.

The system was successfully tested last week in India as part of operational interception trial aboard India’s naval missile destroyer INS Kochi. The test validated the integration of the missile and the associated fire control system with the indigenously developed ship-borne combat management suite. INS Kochi is one of three Kolkata class missile destroyers – the first class of ships to receive the LRSAM air defense system. Last month India ordered the system for its new aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

Each system comprises at least one launcher, carrying eight missiles, a command-and-control system, and a tracking radar. The Indian Navy plans to procure 12 LRSAM systems at a cost of more than $2 billion. The Indian Air Force has also ordered a land-based derivative of the system, known as MRSAM systems, at an additional cost of $2 billion while the Indian Army plans to purchase a different land-based version of MRSAM, at a cost of $1 billion. In addition, IAI is offering the Indian military a new, Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air (QRSAM) variant of Barak-8 addressing the Army’s requirement for mobile air defense.

The contract will be carried out, for the first time, with Indian government company Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), which serves as the prime contractor on the project as part of India’s “Make in India” policy. IAI and BEL have established the cooperation in 2012, under a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU provides a framework for BEL-IAI cooperation, under which BEL functioned as the Lead Integrator and produce major sub-systems. IAI continue to act as Design Authority and produced sub-systems as a main sub-contractor of BEL. Another main subcontractor, Bharat Defence Ltd. (BDL) is also positioned to benefit from the program, BDL will supply the Barak-8 missiles from a new production line established in Hyderabad. BDL is working with the missile integrator RAFAEL, which is the Design Authority for the interceptor.