New Delhi: Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and MBDA, UK on Tuesday signed a licencing agreement to establish the manufacturing facility in India. The agreement has been signed by BDL's Director (Technical) NP Diwakar and MBDA's International Industrial Cooperation Director George Kyriakides in the presence of BDL CMD Cmde Siddharth Mishra (Retd) at a virtual ceremony. "Under the licensing agreement, MBDA will transfer the equipment and knowledge to BDL for establishing the facility," BDL said in an official statement.
"Work on establishing this capability in India is due to start immediately and is expected to commence operations by the year 2022-23," it said.
Speaking on the occasion Mishra stated that the signing of the licencing agreement reinforces the company's commitment to contribute towards 'Make in India' and the 'Atmanirbhar' initiatives of the government in the Defence sector. "Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) is one of the within visual range missiles available and BDL will be manufacturing these at its Bhanur Unit for domestic and export in future through MBDA" he added.
The new facility will provide India with the ability to carry out the final assembly, integration and test of ASRAAM missiles.
George Kyriakides said, "We are very pleased to be establishing this new ASRAAM facility in India with BDL. MBDA has a long and highly successful history of working with BDL for over four decades, a partnership that has seen BDL manufacture a large number of MBDA-designed Milan missiles in India."
The agreement to establish the facility follows on from an earlier MoU between BDL and MBDA on ASRAAM FAIT signed during 2019. This new BDL ASRAAM facility will have the potential to also conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of ASRAAM missiles. The facility can also be adapted to conduct final assembly, integration and test of the CAMM missile of MBDA. CAMM is the missile used by the Sea Ceptor naval air defence system that has been offered as the short-range surface to air missile (SRSAM) requirement.
ASRAAM, a within visual range air dominance weapon, is a new generation close combat missile. Its low drag, aerodynamic airframe, unrivalled speed and manoeuvrability throughout its flight, increased agility make the best missile in its category of weapons. The missile has full 'Lock-On Before Launch' and 'Lock-On After Launch' operating modes.
BDL is the only company in India involved in manufacturing various types of missiles and underwater weapons for supply to the Indian Armed Forces and friendly foreign counties.
BDL Director (Production) P Radhakrishna, BDL's Director (Finance) N Srinivasulu and senior officials of both the companies were also present during the agreement signing event.