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BEL, IAI Get Indian ZSU Upgrade Work
India’s state-owned electronics giant, Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL), will team with Israel Aircraft Industries on a $104 million contract to upgrade 48 Russian-made Indian Army Shilka ZSU-23 air defense systems.

The firm, based here, won the competition for the contract last year, beating out Rosoboronexport of Russia.

Tests are proceeding on two prototype upgraded systems, and the rest will be delivered by 2005, said BEL Chairman Y. Gopala Rao.

The Israeli company will help with system integration, Rao said.

He declined to say how much IAI would receive.

Abrahim Bahar, who runs IAI’s Indian arm, was not available for comments.

The upgraded systems will get modern solid-state radar and computers, a new engine, electro-optical fire control systems and overhauls of subsystems.

They are intended to serve for 15 more years,

The main features of the upgraded Shilka systems include a modern solid-state radar and computer, electro-optical fire control systems, a new engine and overhauling of all subsystems.

The upgraded systems must be able to operate despite enemy jamming, must be able to pick up targets more than 15 kilometers away, and must function in temperatures between 35 and minus 40 degrees Celsius.

The gun must be able to shoot down targets flying up to 450 miles per hour up to 1,500 meters and out to 2,500 meters, a BEL official said.

The purpose of the upgrade would be to extend the life of the Shilka system by 15 years.

India has another 600 30-year-old ZSUs that need upgrades in the next three to five years.

The contract for a second batch will begin next year, an Indian Army official said.

Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 3:32 PM


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This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
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