India's Bharat Dynamics Limited ties up with UK firm to make advanced missiles


Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and MBDA of United Kingdom (UK) have signed a licensing agreement to establish a facility for the Final Assembly, Integration and Test (FAIT) of Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) missiles in India on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed by BDL director (Technical) NP Diwakar and MBDA international cooperation director George Kyriakides in the presence of Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd), BDL’s chairman & managing director at a virtual ceremony along with director (production) P. Radhakrishna, director (finance) N. Srinivasulu, and others.

Under the agreement, MBDA will transfer the equipment and knowledge to BDL for establishing the facility expected to commence operations by 2022-23. Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd), CMD, BDL stated that signing of the licencing agreement reinforces the BDL’s commitment to contribute towards ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Atmanirbhar’ initiatives in the defence sector.

This pact is part of BDL’s endeavours to enter into tie-up with foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in pursuit of its expansion programme, he said. ASRAAM is one of the ‘within visual range’ missiles available and BDL will be manufacturing these at its Bhanur unit in Telangana for domestic and export purposes through MBDA. The new facility will provide India with the ability to carry out final assembly, integration and test of ASRAAM missiles. This new generation close combat missile with its low drag, aerodynamic airframe, unrivalled speed and manoeuvrability throughout its flight along with increased agility makes it the best missile in its category of weapons. The missile has full ‘Lock On Before Launch’ and ‘Lock On After Launch’ operating modes, a press release said.

“We are very pleased to be establishing this new ASRAAM facility with BDL. MBDA has a long and highly successful history of working with it for over four decades where a large number of MBDA-designed Milan missiles were made here,” said Mr. George Kyriakides.

The new BDL ASRAAM facility will have the potential to also conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of missiles. It can also be adapted to conduct final assembly, integration and test of the CAMM missile of MBDA. CAMM is the missile used by the Sea Ceptor naval air defence system that has been offered as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) requirement.

The BDL is the only firm in the country involved in manufacturing various types of missiles and underwater weapons for supply to the Indian armed forces and friendly foreign countries. It also handles launchers, test equipment, refurbishment/life extension of missiles and counter measures systems for domestic as well as international market.

The MBDA with significant presence in five European countries and United States is capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems corresponding to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air).

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