SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
India’s Air Force (IAF) operates a fleet of Advanced Light Helicopters (WSI) and Light Combat Helicopters (LCH), each playing a pivotal role in the nation’s air defence strategy. To equip these helicopters with the necessary air-to-air missile capabilities, the MISTRAL WVR Air-to-Air Missiles are a requirement. Embracing the principles of the Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative, there is a growing need to manufacture these advanced missiles within the country.
To achieve this goal, the proposal is to produce MISTRAL WVR Air-to-Air Missiles for ALH (WSI) and LCH helicopters, following the “Make III” procedure outlined in Chapter III of the Defense Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP 2020). The initial phase will encompass the production of ten missiles, with a projected quantity of approximately 100 units.
The MISTRAL WVR Air-to-Air Missile, known for its capabilities in infrared homing and short-range air defence, has gained prominence as an integral component of India’s air defence arsenal. Manufactured by the French defence conglomerate MBDA, this missile system, commonly referred to as “Mistral,” is set to undergo indigenous production in India through a collaborative effort between Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and MBDA.
This formidable missile boasts a maximum intercept range of 6.5 kilometres, making it a versatile asset for engaging hostile Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and helicopters, crucial for safeguarding India’s airspace.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formalized during the Eurosatory 2022 International Exhibition of Defence and Security in Paris between Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and MBDA to manufacture the Mistral air-to-air missile system for helicopters.
Under this licensing agreement, MBDA will facilitate the transfer of equipment and knowledge to Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for the establishment of a production facility. This facility is anticipated to commence operations within the current fiscal year, marking a momentous stride toward indigenous missile manufacturing for India’s defence needs.
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