Israeli firm Rafael is looking to sell the “Rocks” air-to-surface missile to India that was unveiled during the ongoing Aero India 2019 airshow.
Speaking to Defenseworld.net on Thursday, Samir Advani, Director Strategic Business Development, Rafael, said, “We received the export license recently, and are thinking of selling the newly-unveiled Rocks missile to India. The intention is there.”
According to the company, the new missile is equipped with a penetration or blast fragmentation warhead that is capable of destroying targets above the surface or deep underground in heavily surface-to-air defended areas.
Rocks incorporates technologies from Rafael’s Popeye and SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) air-to-surface missiles. The Indian Air Force currently has 30 Popeye missiles.
The new missile has been designed specifically to suit Indian requirements, sources were quoted by Globes as saying.
"We have completed full-scale development and testing - including airborne and homing - but we have not yet completed the qualification of the missile. This will be the final part of the development process, which will be completed according to our customer requirements," Gideon Weiss, deputy general manager for business development, marketing, and strategy for Rafael's Air & C4ISR division, told Jane's on Wednesday. The identity of the intended launch customer(s) and anticipated qualification date for the Rocks missile were not disclosed.
Rocks can be used against both stationary and mobile targets, and in areas where the enemy uses countermeasures against GPS systems.
The missile uses its INS/GPS for mid-course navigation while homing on to the target is performed by using its EO seeker and advanced image processing algorithms, which ensures hitting targets with precision, overcoming GPS jamming or denial.
Rafael has also been waiting for India to approve the deal for Spike anti-tank missiles worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The SPICE can be fitted onto Sukhoi-30MKI, Mirage fighter and the Rafale.