It is reported that the Indian Army will get the advanced medium range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system by 2020. The MRSAM missile is able to shoot down fighter jets, ballistic missiles, and attack helicopters from a range of about seventy kilometers.
A senior Army official said that the missile system is produced by the defense research organization DRDO in collaboration with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The missile can shoot down aircrafts, drones, helicopters, missiles, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft, and surveillance aircraft.
The version of MRSAM missiles that the Indian Army will get is also operational with the Indian Navy and Air Force. For this ambitious project, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has signed a deal of 17,000 crore rupees with the Israel Aerospace Industries
The MRSAM is a land based version of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) of the Indian Navy and will have a strike range of about seventy kilometers, the official said on conditions of anonymity. As per the deal, Indian Army will get about two hundred missiles and forty firing units.
“The MRSAM for Army’s Air Defence is an advanced all weather, 360 degree mobile land based theatre air defence system capable of providing air defence to critical areas against a wide variety of threats in a combat zone,” the Army official said. He added that the first batch of missiles would be ready in about three years.
Indian Army has been repeatedly requesting the government to improve its aerial attack power. The Army successfully test fired the latest version of Brahmos land-attack cruise missile in the month of May, which was conducted in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Indian Army deployed the Brahmos missile 2007 and became the first land force in the world to deploy the same. The Army has also raised many regiments of the Brahmos missile.
The Indian Army had also inducted the indigenously made supersonic surface to air missile named Akash in May 2015. This missile is capable of targeting the enemy aircrafts, helicopters, and UAVs from a range of about twenty-five kilometers. Indian Army believes that the procurement of the MRSAM missile will drastically improve its air strike power and will mark a paradigm shift in its strike power.