NEW DELHI: India has expressed concern over the excessive cost of deploying a jointly-developed surface to air missile system on Indian Frontline warship, but India wants to expand its strategic ties with Israel through more R&D projects to develop hi-tech weapon systems.
According to sources said that this came through in the 12th meeting of the high-powered Joint Working Group(JWG) between the two countries. This meeting was co-chaired by defence secretary G Mohan Kumar and director general of Israeli defence ministry Major General Udi Adam (retd). The meeting was held on 13th July in New Delhi, India.
According to sources that the Defence minister of India Manohar Parrikar has red flagged the high cost in the production of Barak-8 which is medium range surface to air missile(MR-SAM).
At an initial cost of Rs. 2606 crore was sanctioned by the Cabinet committee to the naval MR-SAM project in December 2005. In February 2009, the IAF one for nine squadrons worth Rs 10,076 crore was cleared. While in November 2014 the naval system was tested for the first time, Earlier in this month the IAF one was tested three times.
Barak missile has an over 70-km interception range against enemy aircraft, drones and missiles. The naval MR-SAM has already been fitted on the three new Kolkata-class destroyers. But the projected cost for each MR-SAM system is Rs. 1200 crores for the 12 under-construction warships in Indian shipyards including aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, seven stealth frigates and four guided-missile destroyers.
According to a Defence ministry source said that Now, the orders are on hold. A review to cut costs is in progress.
According to sources that The Joint Working Group also discussed on joint R&D projects in fields like micro-satellite surveillance, armoured vehicles, high-endurance UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), and different types of missiles and precision-guided munitions.
With an initial 321 launchers and 8356 missiles, the India Army is looking to acquire the Israeli third-generation Spike anti-tank guided missile systems. This is in slow progress due to the high costs involved. The force is likely to go in for an initial two regiments of the Israeli Spyder quick-reaction SAM systems to defend its forward units for enemy air strikes.