Defense ministry - India-Israel joint venture - Fusion - WeRIndia

Defense ministry cautious of India-Israel joint venture cost

Defense ministry cautious of India-Israel joint venture cost

India is planning to its strategic ties with Israel by having more R&D projects to develop hi-tech weapon systems. However, the Indian government did express worry over the expensive costs needed for having a jointly-developed surface-to-air missile system on frontline Indian warships.

This was stated by several sources after the 12th meeting of the high-powered joint working group between the two countries.

Even though there has been no official word on the JWG meeting, according to sources, the defense minister Manohar Parrikar is wary about the high costs involved in production of the medium-range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) systems called Barak-8 by Israel.

Previously, there has been a big delay by DRDO-Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) joint venture to develop and test the MR-SAM systems. These systems would have been mass produced by defense PSU Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL). The projected costs in deploying is also causing red flags for the Indian government.

The Cabinet Committee on Security green lit the Naval MR-SAM in December 2005. The original cost given to it was Rs 2,606 crore. In 2009, the IAF one for nine squadrons was cleared. It cost Rs. 10,076 crore.

The naval MR-SAM will have more than 70-km interception range against enemy aircraft, drones and missiles. It has already been fitted on the three new Kolkata-class destroyers. However, the projected cost of each MR-SAM system is now at around Rs 1,200 crore for the 12 under-construction warships in Indian shipyards. This includes aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, four guided-missile destroyers and seven stealth frigates.

According to a defense ministry source, a review to cut down costs is being held. According to many sources, the JWG also discussed possible upcoming joint R&D projects in fields like high-endurance UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), micro-satellite surveillance systems, armoured vehicles and different types of missiles and precision-guided munitions.

Image credit: Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash (Free for commercial use)

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