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Bangalore, Jan 26 At least 40 public and private companies across the country are closely involved in the making of the indigenous ballistic missile interceptors.

They have already manufactured or assembled parts and sub-systems for the first trial that took place in Orissa on December 6, 2007, according to Dr V.K. Sarswat, Chief Controller R&D (Missiles & Strategic System) and Programme Director (Air Defence), Defence Research & Development Organisation

Companies

They include Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Astra Microwave, ASL, VemTech and KelTech. “The integrated (and fully-tested defence shield system) will be operational in three years,” Dr Sarswat told a news meet here on Friday.

System development

The development of an intercept-and-destroy defence system got off-the-mark in 1982 and the first phase has proven that it can kill cruise or intercontinental ballistic missiles of the 2000-km class. Over the next two years, “we want to perfect this through some more trials and strengthen the capability further,” said Dr S.Varadarajan, Director, Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (LRDE). It involves sharper radars, faster interceptors for longer ranges and advanced launch platforms.

Key Player

LRDE, a key player in the Rs 2,000-crore programme, has developed two crucial types of radars — the long-range tracking radar and the multi-function fire control radar — in separate tie-ups with Israel’s IAI and French defence company Thales.

According to Dr Varadarajan, 7-10 firm have taken part in radar development and up to 40 in the interceptor system.

The two collaborations, over the last two years, have spawned a number of indigenous radars.

The LRDE “is now in a position to manufacture as many radars as possible” with the industry, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 27, 2008)
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