July 17, 2014

Russia says no to technology transfer for Smerch rockets

The Army faces a peculiar situation in strengthening its offensive weaponry. While the Russians have backed out of providing technology transfer for rockets used in the Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), the Finance Ministry has refused to import the same rockets.

As of now, the Army is left with Smerch rockets for less than half-a-day in a battle. The Smrech, an effective domination weapon, is tasked with the three Strike Corps - head quartered at Ambala, Mathura and Bhopal, respectively. The Army has 62 such launchers, which move in squadrons with Strike Crops and have the capacity to hit targets at 70-80 km away, allowing the Infantry and tanks to move forward in case of an assault. These rockets can neutralise enemy troop concentrations, command posts, artillery and missile locations.

Sources said Russia had expressed reservation to meet Indian conditions to indigenise the production of rockets, allowing the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to produce them here. In August 2012, an MoU was signed between the OFB and Russian companies — Rosoboronexport and Splav "SPA" to manufacture five versions of Smerch Rockets.

The Russian side has expressed reservations on allowing technology transfer. The worried Army moved a fresh case through the Ministry of Defence to import rockets. The Finance Ministry turned it down, saying that the original permission was given for local production and a fresh permission has to be sought for importing the rockets.

Sources said a fresh case had been taken up, but till then the Army had to wait for the rockets.

Each year, India displays the Smerch in the Republic Day parade to showcase its might. These have been acquired at a cost of Rs 2,600 crore. So far, rockets for the launchers are purchased from Russia.

India is so dependent on Russia that international think tank — the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)-— observed in its report in March 2014 that the major supplier of arms to India between 2009-13 was Russia — accounting for 75 per cent of Indian imports. 
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1 comment:

  1. Reverse Engineer the Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS).