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Israel developing missiles for India


Wednesday 25 February 2004

WASHINGTON: Israel has begun work on developing for India two long-range artillery (LORA) missiles with a range of up to 300 km, a media report said.

Specifications for the missiles were submitted by Indian Army officials to scientists at the Lod-based Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), according to a report in Defense News, a leading defence industry publication.

India needs 36 LORA missile systems and the India-specific ones would be an extended range version of the missile initially developed by the IAI, the report said.

The current versions of the solid-fuel missile, now in testing, carry a 570-kg warhead less than 200 km, the report said.

Indian specifications for a longer-range version would require significant reductions in warhead size to comply with physical properties of the missile itself, as well as international restrictions governing the transfer or sale of missiles capable of delivering a 500-kg payload more than 300 km.

According to Defense News, a high-level team from the Indian Artillery Directorate visited Israel in November to witness the live firing demonstrations of the missile system.

The Indian Army will also fund development of the India-specific prototype but no financial details were disclosed.

The army will conduct up to 10 trials of the solid-fuelled missiles before placing a bulk order with IAI, the report said.

India had rejected the Russian Iskander-E missile system after a review that favoured the Israeli system.

The Indian Army currently has the indigenous Prithvi missile in its inventory.

This has a range of up to 150 km and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

It was confirmed that the India-specific missile would also have that capability, Defense News said.

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The Times of India, Wednesday, February 25, 2004.

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