The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed a pact with the Army for developing a medium-range surface to air missile (MRSAM) which will be capable of shooting down ballistic missiles and aircraft.
"The MoU heralds the commencement of development of MRSAM system in the configuration as required by the Army," a senior Army official said.
He said the missile will be produced by the DRDO in collaboration with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The missile will be capable of engaging multiple aerial targets at a range of more than 50 kms.
In April, Israel's state-run IAI had said it signed a contract with India worth over USD 1.6 billion for providing the missile to the Army.
"The MRSAM system will be capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles, aircraft, helicopters,drones, surveillance aircraft and AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) aircraft," the official said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
He said procurement of the MRSAM will mark a paradigm shift in the the Army's strike capability.
The Army has been pressing the government for the MRSAM to enhance its strike capability.
MRSAM's current version is operational with the Indian Air Force and Navy.