European missile manufacturer MBDA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian weapon systems integrator Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) to assemble and integrate missiles in India.

On 12 September, the companies signed the agreement at DSEI 2019 defence and security event in London, UK.

According to the MoU, MBDA and the Indian state-owned company BDL will conduct the final assembly, integration and test (FAIT) of Mistral and ASRAAM missiles in India.

MBDA international industrial co-operation director George Kyriakides said: “This MoU marks the latest step on our true commitment to ‘Make in India’ and our partnership with BDL, as we build the foundations for further new and exciting joint opportunities.”

The two companies have been working together for the past 50 years, manufacturing over 50,000 MBDA-designed missiles in India.

BDL chairman and managing director commodore Siddharth Mishra said: “We have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship between Bharat Dynamics Limited and MBDA for many decades and we so are very pleased to have signed this new agreement to deepen our strategic relationship for the future.”

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ASRAAM is the winner of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) new-generation close-combat missile programme.

In July, 2014MBDA won a $428m-worth contract from the Indian Ministry of Defence to provide the ASRAAM missile for the IAF’s SEPECAT Jaguar fighter aircraft.

The first ASRAAM air-to-air missile’s test-firing will be scheduled for the end of the year.

The air-combat missile features a large rocket motor that offers improved speed, aerodynamic manoeuvrability and range.

MBDA offered the Mistral surface-to-air missile to the Indian Armed Forces to meet their very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) requirement.

The company worked with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to integrate the Mistral ATAM system onto the Dhruv utility helicopter and the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH).