India and Israel agreed to jointly develop a medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) system for the Indian Army to replace Russian-made air defense systems, said a source in the Indian Defence Ministry.

The land version of MRSAM would be an extension of the ongoing Air Force MRSAM project, which is expected to begin induction by 2017, three years behind scheduled. The Army has an immediate need for one regiment (18 systems) of MRSAMs at a cost of $1.5 billion, but the total requirement for these systems is estimated to be more than $6 billion, said an Army official.

The agreement to jointly develop the land version of MRSAM, which will have a range of up to 70 kilometers, emerged during a Feb. 22 meeting here between visiting Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar, the source added. […]