A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed on 18th December 2007 between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Department of Defence Production (DDP) and M/s MBDA, France to undertake development of Short Range-Surface to Air Missile (SR-SAM) jointly by DRDO & M/s MBDA and production by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
DRDO has completed development of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile, Akash. Air Force and Army have already placed production order with Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), Bangalore and Bharat Dynamics Ltd. (BDL), Hyderabad.
Akash and SR-SAM systems are of different category. Akash is a Medium Range Surface to Air Missile system with a range 25 km and command based guidance system. Whereas, SR-SAM is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile system with a range of 15 km and seeker based guidance system. Therefore, it may not be appropriate to compare the costs of two different missile systems.
Government of India and Government of France have signed an Agreement on Defence Co-operation on 20th February 2006 and Technical Agreement between Ministry of Defence of India and Ministry of Defence of Republic of France was signed on 25th April 2007. Based on this agreement M/s MBDA has been nominated as a Joint Development partner by Government of France.
This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in a written reply to Shri Kalikesh N Singh Deo in Lok Sabha today.