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Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a key player in India’s defence sector, is preparing to enhance the localization content for the Indo-Israeli Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MR-SAM) program. This move is driven by expectations of substantial orders from the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is planning to procure nine MR-SAM squadrons, comprising a total of 2,000 Barak-8 missiles next year.

The MR-SAM program is a joint venture between India and Israel, resulting in a highly capable interceptor missile system designed to neutralize aerial threats within a range of 70-90 kilometres. This system has already been inducted by the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy, demonstrating its critical role in enhancing India’s air defence capabilities.

BEL is taking proactive steps to boost the localization content of the MR-SAM program, anticipating significant orders from the IAF. Currently, the program has 40 per cent imported content from Israel, which is now being gradually replaced with domestically manufactured components. The aim is to increase the indigenous content to 70 per cent in the coming years, up from the existing 60 per cent. This transition will not only reduce dependency on foreign suppliers but also stimulate the Indian defence manufacturing sector.

The move towards higher localization content aligns with the Indian government’s “Make in India” initiative, which encourages domestic production and self-reliance in defence manufacturing. By reducing reliance on foreign suppliers, India can enhance its defence preparedness, reduce costs, and bolster the capabilities of its defence industrial base.

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