Indo-French Maitri SR-SAM Awaits Workshare Clearance

A comprehensive workshare proposal has been put together by DRDO and technology partner MBDA for the MAITRI short range surface-to-air missile (SR-SAM) programme. According to sources at DRDO and MBDA, both sides have identified all collaborative development areas and are are fully prepared to complete development and the first phase of testing within three years from the time the project is given formal sanction by the Cabinet. The partnership began in 2007 as part of the umbrella government-to-government agreement between India and France on missiles. Like at AeroIndia 2009, where it made its public debut, a full-scale model of the Maitri will make a reappearance at DefExpo 2010 which kicks off next week.

The ownership of the Maitri programme is envisaged as being fully Indian. With baseline technologies from the Trishul SAM programme, the Maitri programme basically envisages the sale of certain key technologies by MBDA to DRDO (seeker, endgame avionics, thrust vector control, propulsion modifications), though production will not be under a corporate joint venture on the lines of BrahMos, but would rather be carried out entirely by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), India's state-owned munitions production agency.

The Maitri is being built in two basic variants -- a ship-borne point defence and tactical air defence version for the Navy and a land-based self-propelled (wheeled and tracked) launcher-based system for the Air Force and Army.

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