Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inducted the medium range surface to air missile (MRSAM) system into service during a ceremony held at Jaisalmer Air Force Station in Rajasthan.

The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over the first deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of the system to the Indian Air force (IAF).

According to a statement released by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), induction of the system is a significant boost to the country’s defence capabilities.

The MRSAM is an advanced network-centric combat air defence system developed jointly by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in partnership with the Indian industry comprising private and public sectors, including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

IAI president and CEO Boaz Levy said: “MRSAM Air & Missile Defense System is a cutting edge, innovative system and significant proof of the unique partnership and collaboration between the countries and IAI’s commitment to India.

“The development and production of the system is fully based on the Make in India policy in partnership and collaboration between Israel and India’s industries, and is a is a model of success of the Make in India policy for the benefit of all parties.”

The MRSAM missile system is designed to provide point and area air defence for ground assets against a wide range of threats.

It can engage multiple targets at ranges of up to 70km in complex environments.

Powered by a locally developed rocket motor and control system, the missile is designed to achieve high manoeuvrability during the terminal phase.

Each MRSAM weapon system comprises one command and control system, one tracking radar, missiles, mobile launcher systems, combat management system, mobile power system, radar power system, and field service vehicle.

Last year, IAI and India teams worked in close cooperation under strict Covid-19 safety protocols for timely induction of the missile.