The DRDO has signed Rs.17,000 crore deal with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for producing advanced medium—range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system for Indian Army by 2020. The deal envisages develping 40 firing units and around 200 missiles.
The MR-SAM, a land-based version of long range surface to air missile (LRSAM) of Indian Navy, has strike range of up 70 km. It is capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters, drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft.
The MRSAM for Indian 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 wide variety of threats in combat zone. The current version of MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force and the Navy.
The Indian Army has been pressing the government to enhance its aerial attack capability considering the evolving security challenges. Indian Army is the first land force in the world to deploy Brahmos missile in 2007. It has raised several regiments of this formidable weapon. In May 2015, the Army had inducted the indigenously— developed supersonic surface to air Akash missile which is capable of targeting enemy helicopters, aircraft and UAVs from a range of 25 km. The Army thinks procurement of MRSAM will mark paradigm shift in its strike capability.