Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) and European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles MBDA on Tuesday announced setting up a facility for the Final Assembly, Integration and Test (FAIT) of Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) missiles in India.
The BDL and the MBDA, UK signed a licensing agreement in this regard, and the MBDA will transfer the equipment and knowledge to the BDL for establishing the facility. Work on establishing this capability in India is due to start immediately and is expected to commence operations by 2022-23.
The agreement was signed by BDL’s Director, Technical, N.P. Diwakar, and MBDA’s Director, International Industrial Cooperation, George Kyriakides, in the presence of BDL Chairman and Managing Director, Commodore Siddharth Mishra (retd), at a virtual ceremony.
BDL’s Director, Production, P. Radhakrishna, Director, Finance, N. Srinivasulu, and senior officials of both the companies were also present on the occasion.
Mishra stated that signing of the licencing agreement reinforces the BDL’s commitment to contribute towards the government’s ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Atmanirbhar’ initiatives in the defence sector. ASRAAM is one of the Within Visual Range missiles available and BDL will be manufacturing these at its Bhanur Unit for the domestic and export in future through the MBDA.
The new facility will provide India with the ability to carry out final assembly, integration and test of ASRAAM missiles. The BDL has been endeavouring to enter into tie-up with foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in pursuit of its expansion programme.
The agreement signed with MBDA is one such effort, which will go a long way in further strengthening the collaboration which BDL has with MBDA for its various missile programmes, he said.