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11:17 AM, April 25, 2016
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VL-MICA land systems (Image: MBDA)

MBDA has offered co-development of its Vertical Launch (VL) MICA based missile to Indian Navy.

India is developing a short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) for nation’s navy after rejecting indigenous Akash missiles. MBDA has offered to work with India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the Indian Navy’s SRSAM.

DRDO and French MBDA’s joint missile program for navy was formalized by the Indian government on March 31. The SRSAM project however was considered to be independent of the joint missile program.

VL MICA is a short-range fire-and-forget missile that can be equipped with either infrared (IR) homing seeker (VL MICA IR) or with active radar (VL MICA RF).

The navy's SRSAM requirement is for a vertically launched system with 360° coverage to engage hostile targets at a range of up to 15 km. SRSAM will technically replace the Israel Aerospace Industries/ Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Barak 1 point defence missile in IN service, IHS Janes reported 21 April.

India already has long range canister based missiles like Brahmos and Agni but navy's requirement is a short range quick-reaction missile.

The medium-range surface-to-air missile Akash was initially made keeping in view Army's requirement but later its Air Force version was developed. The Navy, however, hadn't found it fitting its requirement.

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