Raytheon Gaffes On Indian Ballistic Missile Threat

I love this! Raytheon apparently puts India in the august company of countries like North Korea and Iran as far as ballistic missile threats to the US and its allies (and proliferation of such weapons) are concerned. This, in a 2007 brochure [PDF] for Raytheon's Standard Missile 3 (SM-3), a component of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence System, an evolution of the Aegis Combat System currently on offer to India. Incidentally, among the many opportunities that Raytheon currently explores in India, the Standard Missile 2 is one. The page above, therefore, boggles.

India has a robust ballistic missile programme, but it's also a country that takes its reputation as a non-proliferator, non-aggressor (and its avowed no-first use nuclear strike policy) near religiously. To yoke India to the likes of Iran, North Korea, China and Pakistan may actually be pretty flattering to some at one level, but not in any way that South Block would ever appreciate, so it's obvious that nobody really noticed this brochure. Bit of a faux pas, if you ask me.

Here's the preamble to the above slide: "Ballistic and cruise missiles present a significant threat to United States and coalition forces overseas, and to the United States and coalition nations. The use of ballistic missiles is attractive to many nations because they can be used against an adversary with a formidable air defense system when an attack with manned aircraft would be impractical or too costly. When armed with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads, the threat becomes even more apparent." The threat is real and growing, it declares.

Luckily, this brochure has nothing to do with Raytheon's India campaign. There is no second-guessing how sensitive the Indian government can be about stuff like this.

In India, apart from the SM-2 missile (not sure about SM-3), Raytheon is currently exploring opportunities to supply the Sidewinder and AMRAAM (as part of the MMRCA competition) and TOW anti-armour missiles. The company is also looking to supply its APG-79 AESA radar and EW self-protection systems as part of the MMRCA. The company also has interests in assisting in India's GAGAN space-based augmentation system, the Indian Army's Battle Management System (for which Raytheon has pitched its Enhanced Position Location and Reporting System) and supplying additional AN/TPQ-37 weapon locating radars. The company is already working with India on co-production of Paveway LGBs and providing mission support for the Phalanx CIWS. A deal for Javelin man-portable ATGM is the company's most recent success in India.

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