Tatas, Rafael in manufacture and maintenance deal for 5th generation air defence systems

26 Feb 2008


Rafael's SpyderNew Delhi: Israeli armaments major Rafael, is set to sign an agreement with Tata Power for parts manufacture and maintenance of air defence systems (ADS), which the company expects to supply to the Indian Air Force as part of a Rs4,500 crore deal aimed at phasing out decades-old, Russian supplied surface to air missile (SAM) systems. 
Rafael, which has been asked to supply quick reaction surface-to-air and air-to-air Python-5 and Derby ADS to the Indian Armed Forces, will sign the production transfer programme agreement with Tata Power this fiscal. 
The Israeli missiles, which are capable of targeting low-flying enemy aircraft, will replace the IAF's ageing Russian SAM-6 and 7 missile systems.  The Israeli systems will be used in tandem with the indigenously developed Akash SAM system, which have recently been cleared for induction by the Indian Air Force. 
''Under the proposed agreement, Tata Power will manufacture some parts of the air defence systems and do the maintenance work post delivery,'' Rafael's director for air-to-air and air defence systems, Oron Oriol said. 
Each unit of the air defence systems consists of a command and control vehicle fitted with radar, along with four batteries equipped with four missiles and support units to supply and service the vehicle. 
''This is a unique and advanced air defence system and India can make good use of it,'' Oriol said. ''We expect to sign the deal very soon, hopefully before March 31.'' 
The deal was cleared by the Cabinet committee on security last month and is expected to cost Rs 4,500 crore. 
The fifth generation surface-to-air and air-to-air Python-5 missile can be launched for very short as well as beyond-visual range interceptions. It has greater kill probability and excellent resistance to countermeasures irrespective of evasive target manoeuvres or deployment of countermeasures. 
The Python-5's unique full sphere performance is achieved by a combination of lock-on-after-launch and excellent acquisition and tracking capabilities.

Its dual waveband focal plane array seeker and sophisticated algorithms enable acquisition of even small, low signature targets in look-down, adverse background and cloudy environments. 
Derby is an active radar surface-to-air and air-to-air missile. It's operational flexibility and multi-shot capability enables use during the day or night and in all-weather conditions. 
Together, the Python-5 and Derby offer superior fighting capabilities that ensure outstanding air superiority in 21st century warfare. 

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