India and Israel have successfully test-fired an army version of the medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) defense system off the coast of Odisha. The test was conducted in the last week of December 2020.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has now shared the video of test-firing MRSAM, an air, and missile defense system jointly produced with India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
IAI and @DRDO_India successfully test launch the MRSAM air defense system last week at a test range in India 💪
The MRSAM is an advanced path breaking air and missile defense system that provides ultimate protection against a variety of aerial platforms. pic.twitter.com/Wk4vWPWeQ9
— Israel Aerospace Industries (@ILAerospaceIAI) January 5, 2021
The MRSAM army version consists of a command and control post, multi-mode radar, mobile launcher system, and interceptors with advanced RF (radio frequency) seeker. The radar used in the system is the same as the one used by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system.
The company statement states that the scenario began by targeting the threat detected by the system’s digital multi-mission Radar and launched the MRSAM interceptor toward its operational trajectory. The interceptor acquired the target, and successfully intercepted it, the company said.
As per the IAI, the current test of the air and missile defense system “validated all components of the weapon system”. The complete fire unit was used in the deliverable configuration. The flight test demonstrated different extreme reference scenarios, validating various system capabilities, the company said.
— Defense News (@defense_news) January 5, 2021
IAI President and CEO Boaz Levy said: “MRSAM Air and Missile Defense System is a cutting edge innovative system, that once again has proven its advanced capabilities against a variety of threats”.
Levy stressed that every trial in an air defense system is a complex operational event and COVID-19 limitations have increased the complexity, but the trial is another testimony to the strong partnership between IAI and India and the two nations.
India had signed a $1.6 billion contract with IAI for the MRSAM system for India’s ground forces in 2017. The missiles have been manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited, India. The numbers of systems being produced under the billion-dollar deal have not been revealed.
The MRSAM is also used by the Indian Navy and Air Force as well; the naval version being called LRSAM. The naval version was sold for seven ships as part of a $777 million contract with state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited in 2018.
In 2019, the Indian Navy, DRDO, IAI had conducted the maiden ‘co-operative engagement firing’ of the naval version on the Western seaboard by Indian Naval Ships Kochi and Chennai. In the firing, the missiles from both ships were controlled by one ship to intercept different aerial targets at extended ranges.
Amid the border stand-off with China, India has accelerated its defense purchases and Israel is seeing deepening defense ties with New Delhi. In 2020, several Israeli companies signed contracts with Indian companies with a focus on India’s efforts to manufacture defense equipment locally.