France pushes India to move on Maitri SR-SAM programme

03 July 2014

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius expressed his concern to senior Indian leaders in New Delhi on 1 July over recurring delays in implementing the bilateral Maitri programme to jointly develop a short-range surface-to-air missile (SR-SAM) system.

Fabius, who ended a two-day visit to Delhi on 2 July, discussed the INR300 billion (USD5 billion) Maitri project with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley.

The programme, under which France's MBDA and India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) would co-develop two SR-SAM systems with a 9-15 km range, has been under negotiation since 2007. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in early 2013 but since then the programme has been awaiting clearance from India's Cabinet Committee on Security.

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