May 30 / 10.42AM: In a significant break from pitching ready, operational products in Indian weapon tenders, French missile firm MBDA has pitched the in-development Indo-French joint short-range surface to air missile (SR-SAM) or Maitri in at least one Indian competition — the Indian Army’s early 2010 tender for a QR-SAM [PDF]. In the December 2010 edition of the company’s in-house journal, MBDA says that it has “decided to respond to the QRSAM Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) competition with the SRSAM, thus offering the Indians enhanced synergies.”
The Indian Army has also expressed its interest [PDF] in acquiring a short-range surface to air missile.
The SR-SAM Maitri is being developed for all three Indian armed services and export, and could see a first test-firing in 2012. On the status of the SR-SAM, the same Dec 2010 issue quotes MBDA’s export development director Michel Pétré as saying, “Today this project, which mobilises a vast set of competences, has reached a very advanced stage, and discussions are continuing with persistence, passion and patience.” (Which is actually a seriously polite way of saying, “Dude, we’ve been at it for four years, get the friggin agreement done already…“).