SR-SAM on display at the MBDA pavilion at Aero India 2011 in Bengaluru in February 2011.
The Maitri point defense (15km, 9.3mi) surface-to-air missile is being co-developed by DRDO in collaboration with MBDA of France under a 2007 government-to-government agreement.
The missile will fill the gap created by the Indian government's decision to wind up development of the Trishul point defense missile system. It will replace the Russian-origin Pechora and OSA-AK missile systems with Air Force and the Army.
Maitri will build on the work done by DRDO while developing the Trishul missile, using technology transfer from MBDA to fill the technological gaps that led to the failure of the Trishul project.
MBDA will provide the seeker, thrust vector control, terminal guidance system and composites for a modified propulsion system. DRDO will provide the software, command and control system and launchers.
MBDA will also provide production technology to Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) which will work as the system integrator and roll out the missile.
"When you want to produce large numbers, you have to have an automated assembly line. For missiles, we don''t have that automation system in our production facilities... What we are looking at in these new programmes is that production technologies of BDL are also improved so that the rate of production can be increased," DRDO chief V K Saraswat told PTI in an interview in April 2011.
The Electronics & Radar Development Establishment (ERDE), Bangalore, is developing two indigenous radars for the Maitri project. These would be new-generation variants of Central Acquisition Radar (3D-CAR), with the ability to track 150 targets simultaneously at a distance of 200 kilometers. The naval variant would be called the Revati and the air force version Rohini.
Two variants of the missile are planned
MBDA has also pitched the missile as a contender for the Indian Army Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) tender.
Work on the missile is expected to begin after an agreement with MBDA is finalized.
Following talks with visiting French President Francoise Hollande in New Delhi, Indian PM Manmohan Singh said on February 15, 2013, "Talks on the M-MRCA contract are progressing well. We have concluded negotiations on the SR-SAM, which, once approved by the government, will be co-developed and co-produced in India." [via HT]
Development of the missile is expected to be completed within three years of the project go-ahead, when initial testing will commence.