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India's Trishul missile programme foreclosed, says Govt

File photo of Trishul surface-to-air missile being test fired from the Trishul Combat Vehicle (TCV). DRDO photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Government has said that the Trishul missile programme of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) has been foreclosed due to its inability to meet certain critical operational requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Defence Minister A K Antony told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the missile served as a technology demonstrator and the expertise acquired with the technologies developed during design and development phase of Trishul Missile System were being utilised for developing state-of-the-art short range surface-to-air-missile system.

"The proposal for Trishul system was foreclosed due to its inability to meet certain critical operational requirements," Antony said, replying to a question from a member.

He also said the defence ministry had signed a contract with the Rafael company of Israel to procure low-level quick reaction missile system for the IAF.

To another question on the 'Arjun' main battle tank, the government said the tank was not tampered with during any trial and reliability tests were carried out systematically by the army with successful results. He added that there was no proposal from the DRDO, which developed 'Arjun', to inquire into the whole episode of 'tampering' during its testing.

On the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Antony said the IAF had already placed a commercial order with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for procuring 20 such aircraft. He said the Full Scale Engineering Development (FSED) Phase-1 of the LCA was sanctioned in 1993 only for technology development.

Later, in November 2001, FSED Phase-2 was sanctioned for manufacturing of additional prototypes and eight limited series production aircraft.

"Decision was taken to change to Open System Architecture for avionics and change over to 'R73-E' Missile from R60 to make the aircraft more advanced and contemporary," he said.

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