Hyderabad, Aug 17 (IANS) Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) and European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles MBDA on Tuesday announced setting up a facility for the Final Assembly, Integration and Test (FAIT) of Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) missiles in India.
The BDL and the MBDA, UK signed a licensing agreement in this regard, and the MBDA will transfer the equipment and knowledge to the BDL for establishing the facility. Work on establishing this capability in India is due to start immediately and is expected to commence operations by 2022-23.
The agreement was signed by BDL’s Director, Technical, N.P. Diwakar, and MBDA’s Director, International Industrial Cooperation, George Kyriakides, in the presence of BDL Chairman and Managing Director, Commodore Siddharth Mishra (retd), at a virtual ceremony.
BDL’s Director, Production, P. Radhakrishna, Director, Finance, N. Srinivasulu, and senior officials of both the companies were also present on the occasion.
Mishra stated that signing of the licencing agreement reinforces the BDL’s commitment to contribute towards the government’s ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Atmanirbhar’ initiatives in the defence sector. ASRAAM is one of the Within Visual Range missiles available and BDL will be manufacturing these at its Bhanur Unit for the domestic and export in future through the MBDA.
The new facility will provide India with the ability to carry out final assembly, integration and test of ASRAAM missiles. The BDL has been endeavouring to enter into tie-up with foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in pursuit of its expansion programme.
The agreement signed with MBDA is one such effort, which will go a long way in further strengthening the collaboration which BDL has with MBDA for its various missile programmes, he said.
“We are very pleased to be establishing this new ASRAAM facility in India with BDL. MBDA has a long and highly successful history of working with BDL for over four decades, a partnership that has seen BDL manufacture large number of MBDA-designed Milan missiles in India,” Kyriakides said.
The agreement to establish the facility follows on from an earlier MoU between BDL and MBDA on ASRAAM FAIT signed during 2019.
This new ASRAAM facility will have the potential to also conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of ASRAAM missiles. The facility can also be adapted to conduct final assembly, integration and test of the MBDA’s CAMM missile, used by the Sea Ceptor naval air defence system that has been offered as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) requirement.
ASRAAM, a Within Visual Range Air Dominance weapon, is New Generation Close Combat Missile. Its low drag, aerodynamic airframe, unrivalled speed and manoeuvrability throughout its flight, increased agility make the best missile in its category of weapons. The missile has full ‘Lock On Before Launch’ and ‘Lock On After Launch’ operating modes.
BDL is the only company in India involved in manufacturing various types of missiles and underwater weapons for supply to the Indian armed forces and friendly foreign countries. It also handles launchers, test equipment, refurbishment/life extension of missiles and counter measures systems for domestic as well as international market.
MBDA is the only European defence group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). It has a significant presence in five European countries and in the US.