Bengaluru, July 24: The Long Range Surface Air Missile (LR-SAM) will be tested-fired in India, coming October.
LRSAM, also known as Barak-8, being co-developed by India and Israel had already been successfully flight-tested against a flying target in Israel in November 2014.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have joined hands for developing LRSAM, which has a range of 70 km.
Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) V Udaya Bhaskar told defence journalists on the sidelines of the two-day Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Summit (ADMS 2015) that the LRSAM project is moving in the ‘right direction.'
"The programme has been going on for the last five to six years. The missile will have its Indian leg of trial in October. The current trials are for Navy and we will conduct parallel ground trials for the Air Force and Army variants as well," Udaya Bhaskar said.
Mass production likely from next year
He said BDL hopes to enter into mass production of LRSAMs from next year onwards, depending upon the outcome of the final trials.
"There are a lot of tactical weapon requirements coming up. The success of Akash Weapon System (AWS) has given a big boost for indigenization for SAM (Surface to Air Missile) programmes," Udaya Bhaskar said.
BDL presently has three manufacturing units situated in Hyderabad, Medak district (Telangana) and at Visakhapatnam (AP). The fourth unit is coming up in Amravati district of Maharashtra.
"We plan to produce Very Short Range Air Defence Missile (VSHORAD) at the Amravati plant. The fifth unit is coming up in Ibrahimpatnam (Telangana) exclusively for SAM project. We are ready to join hands with private partners to take up high-end weapon systems," Udaya Bhaskar added.
He said the current orderbook of BDL stood at in excess of Rs Rs 16000 crore.
Adding more teeth to Indian Navy
DRDO officials had told OneIndia earlier that once cleared for operations, the LRSAMs will be fitted on the P-15 A Kolkata Class guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.
The missile's first ballistic flight test (short-range) was successfully conducted in Israel in May 2010. The first control navigation test of the missile was conducted in 2012. As per the original plan, initial short-range tests are to be held in Israel and the long-range ones in India.
The LRSAM project was sanctioned in January 2006 with an initial funding of Rs 2,606.02 crore.