Navratna Defence company Bharat Electronics (BEL) has secured a Rs92bn ($1.28bn) order to deliver seven long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) systems for use by the Indian Navy.
The state-owned aerospace and defence company has received the contract awards from two India-based shipbuilding companies, Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
The latest award brings the total of BEL’s orders to more than Rs500bn ($6.97bn) for the first time since its inception.
Once delivered, the surface-to-air missiles, also known as Barak 8, will be installed on board seven Indian Navy Project 17A frigates that are contracted to be built by the two shipbuilding companies.
In addition to the LRSAM project for the navy, BEL currently focuses on supporting other futuristic programmes such as the quick response surface-to-air missile (QRSAM) for the Indian Army and the medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The company served as the lead integrator of the LRSAM systems for the Indian Navy’s P-17A stealth frigates, in addition to the lead integrator of the Akash medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defence system.
In December 2015, the Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) carried out the maiden firing of the newly built LRSAM system on board INS Kolkata, which aimed to increase its anti-air warfare capability.
Manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited, the long-range missile has been jointly developed by DRDO’s Defence Research and Development Laboratory, the Indian Navy, and IAI.
The navy intends to install the LRSAM systems on board its four new Kolkata-class destroyers, the proposed Project 17A frigates, and the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier.