Farnborough: India is evaluating the
advanced Patriot ground-based air defence system for its
ballistic missile shield and the US has provided "classified"
material to it on the weapon unit, which was successfully used
during both Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom,
Patriot`s manufacturer Raytheon has said.
"A number of exchanges have taken place between the
government of India and the US and information has been given
to India at the classified level," Joseph Garret, Vice
President of the company`s Patriot Programmes said.
Replying to questions, he said tests of the Patriot
system, which has been procured by 12 countries, by India`s
Defence Research and Development Organisation and other
agencies had been "highly successful".
On India developing its own missile defence shield,
Garret said, "Patriot system gives a major boost to any
country`s defence capability. India may be developing its own
system, but Patriot is a combat-proven weapon system."
Another senior official of Raytheon, a defence and
aerospace major, said Washington and New Delhi have also
discussed the issue of India-specific end-user accords.
"If the US government gives a go-ahead, Raytheon will
step in," he said.
Since its production began in 1980, more than 170 Patriot
fire units and over 9,000 have been delivered by the company.
The countries which have acquired the weapon system,
were Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Japan,
Israel, Taiwan, Greece, Spain, South Korea and the UAE.
The weapon system`s capabilities were demonstrated in
1990 following Iraq`s invasion of Kuwait.
"Patriot`s performance against Iraqi SCUD missile
attacks were impressive, even though the SCUD missiles
exceeded Patriot`s design threat," he said.
Top company official Taylor W Lawrence, President of
Raytheon`s Missile Systems, said India is also looking at the
`Javelin` anti-tank and anti-armour missile `and a `letter of
intent` is expected to be issue soon.
"Javelin has been fully tested by the Indian land
forces. We expect a letter of intent from the Indian
government," he said.