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Europe offers missiles for Sukhois

Naples (Italy): European consortium MBDA has offered their 300 km-range Taurus stand-off missile system to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for its fighter jets such as the Su-30MKI.

"We have received a Request for Information (RFI) from the IAF for a stand-off long range missile from the IAF and we have offered the Taurus missiles as we feel that it meets all the desired requirements," Anders Axebark, the business development manager for the missile systems told a group of Indian journalists here.

The Taurus air-to-ground missiles are manufactured by the Germany-based Taurus Systems GmbH, which is a joint venture between MBDA and and Swedish defence major Saab. MBDA is a missile manufacturing firm based in Italy, Britain, France and Germany.

India is going to upgrade the first batch of its Sukhois in collaboration with Russia and is looking to enhance the capabilities of the aircraft by equipping it with new radars, long-range weapons and avionics.

Axebark said the IAF has already been briefed by the company at the Air Headquarters in New Delhi about the operational advantages that the missile would provide. "The German Air Force is also planning to carry out a test-firing of the missile for the IAF in November at one of the field-firing ranges in South Africa," he said.

Axebark said that his company has also briefed the DRDO about the system and is looking for opportunities to co-develop anti-ship, surface to surface and transport aircraft-launched versions of the missile with the research organisation. The Taurus GmbH is also offering the ground-launched version to the Indian Army.

The company claimed that the missile system can be used to take out hard targets such as bunkers and concrete shelters from a stand-off range of 300 km and it can track its target without using the GPS navigation system. The MBDA has also offered its MICA and Meteor missiles to the IAF and said that they can be integrated with various types of aircraft operating in the IAF.

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