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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to boost its arsenal and self-reliance with the planned procurement of Crystal Maze (CM) II missiles under the Make-III initiative, emphasizing indigenously manufactured (IM) components. This program allows Indian firms to participate in defense production either through collaboration or technology transfer (ToT) with foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

The Crystal Maze missile is a highly capable air-to-surface weapon with a range of around 100 kilometers. Currently manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel, it equips IAF fighter jets like the Sukhoi Su-30MKI and Mirage 2000, providing them with a potent long-range strike capability.

The Make-III program plays a crucial role in India’s quest for self-reliance in defense production. It encourages Indian companies to participate in the manufacturing of critical subsystems, sub-assemblies, assemblies, components, materials, and ammunition for existing weapon systems and equipment. This not only reduces dependence on foreign imports but also fosters technological expertise and creates high-skilled jobs within the country.

Crystal Maze II: Indigenous Components on the Horizon

Under the Make-III program, the IAF is seeking to procure various components for the Crystal Maze II missile, including:

  • Propulsion systems
  • Guidance and control systems
  • Warheads
  • Launchers
  • Ground support equipment

By indigenously manufacturing these components, India can not only secure a reliable supply chain for its existing Crystal Maze missiles but also potentially reduce maintenance costs and gain valuable technological know-how.

Despite these challenges, the Make-III program represents a significant step forward in India’s journey towards self-reliance in defense production. The planned procurement of Crystal Maze II components under this initiative is a testament to the IAF’s commitment to enhancing its operational capabilities while fostering domestic technological advancements.

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