Indian Navy

MBDA a partner of choice for Indian Air Force

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LCH, Light Combat Helicopter
                      LCH, Light Combat Helicopter

New Delhi. 07 October 2022. As Indian Air Force in 2022 celebrates 90 years of its existence, the partnership between MBDA and the IAF has just gotten even deeper when India’s home made LCH which just got inducted into the force has the Air to Air Mistral which add teeth to its power.

Rafale  in the IAF’s inventory also field a  potent suite of weapons from MBDA. Unquestionably the most famous is the Meteor, the ramjet powered and network-enabled  beyond visual range air-to-air missile that is widely recognised as a game changer for air combat. Meteor’s throttleable ramjet engine provides sustained high- supersonic power, making it the only missile able to chase down manoeuvring enemies at even the longest of ranges.

No less game-changing for the IAF is the SCALP stealthy air-launched cruise missile that also forms part of the Rafale weapons package. This potent weapon gives the IAF an unrivalled and flexible tool to conduct deep strike missions at long ranges against even the most protected of hostile targets.

Another MBDA weapon, MICA provides both the Rafale and the newly upgraded IAF Mirage 2000
aircraft with a uniquely flexible approach to air combat. MICA is the only missile in the world featuring
two interoperable seekers (active radar and imaging infrared) makes MICA highly countermeasure
resistant and therefore highly effective.

With a strong reputation as a reliable partner that has supported the Indian Air Force for over 50 years,
European missile firm MBDA understands the importance of operational capability and sovereignty to
the IAF. For these reasons, the company has so strongly committed to Make in India to deliver both
industrial sovereignty and the best of military equipment to India.

Rafale fighter aircraft

Indian firms now supply key components for key new missiles that are enhancing the combat power
of the IAF. For example by Indian industry today to extensive manufacturing of 15 major
subassemblies of MICA missile covering various complex technologies such as mechanical, electrical,
electromechanical and pyrotechnic items.

MBDA’s  formation of a joint venture with long-standing partner Larsen & Toubro to deliver a series of important missile programmes under the Make in India category strengthens the relationship between India and France.

The IAF is also getting a major boost with the addition of the ASRAAM as its Next Generation Close
Combat Missile. During 2021 MBDA and BDL agreed to establish a new facility in Hyderabad to
assemble and test this potent air combat missile. With its large rocket motor and clean aerodynamic
design, ASRAAM has unrivalled speed and resultant aerodynamic manoeuvrability and range.
ASRAAM gives it a high kinematic capability that delivers superior end-game performance for within
visual range air combat. MBDA’s ASRAAM missiles are significantly enhancing the battle capability
India’s Jaguar bombers, giving them unrivalled self-protection ability and enhanced ability to
penetrate hostile airspace. This highly capable weapon could also boost the combat capability of other
IAF aircraft.

MBDA's Mistral ATAM
MBDA’s Mistral-ATAM

Working with HAL, integration of the Mistral ATAM system on the Dhruv helicopter and the Light
Combat Helicopter (LCH) has been very successfully completed.

Key to many of MBDA’s offerings are
their ability to be fitted to multiple platforms. By utilising the same weapon across different platforms,
not only do extra aircraft benefit from these capabilities, but there are also major cost savings and operational benefits to be found in maintaining common equipment stockpiles, not to mention the training and logistics benefits. For example, utilisation of the Mistral missile on India’s helicopter platforms provides a bridge to their use in a ground based VSHORAD role, where the missile is fully compliant with India’s requirements and outperforms the capabilities of its rivals.

A long-term strategic partner, MBDA wants to be seen as an Indian player and not merely as a buyer-seller associate in India. Hence for  the first time the missile major had decided  to produce a brand new product (SR-SAM) outside the European countries. From co-designing and co-developing, MBDA will also transfer the technology. It is strategically increasing its footprint in the Indian market keeping in mind India’s ever-increasing demand and a futuristic defence acquisition plan.

MBDA  has always described India as the nation of choice and partnership is the key word that represents their  strategy and long-term plan for India. India has a lot to offer in terms of indigenous skills, in engineering, in electronics as well as software development, for MBDA  the future will see combined teams, either here in India or in Europe or both, working to meet the needs of the respective domestic customers as well as the global export market.


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