May 17, 2007 (FIDSNS)
In a written reply to the parliament the defence minister has categorically denied that the Trishul SAM missile project is a failure. He wrote “Technically it has met the performance objectives as per original Qualitative Requirements (QRs) though delayed. The main reason for this delay are technical problems in achieving perfect 3-beam guidance and obtaining millimetric wave components from abroad.”
He also mentioned “As the realization of Trishul missile system got delayed, Users (Army, Air Force, and Navy) resorted to acquisition from abroad as the QRs and operational requirements got modified over time.” This is consistent with 3rd May,2007 Frontier India report stating that the Qualitative Requirements of Trishul for the three Services have gone through substantial change which has lead to entirely different class of short range surface to air missile system. Having put in maximum effort to realize the Air Froce version, Air Force is considering induction in small quantity to meet their partial requirement of such class of surface to air missile systems.
As reported in same Frontier India report on the possibility of Indian Air Force inducting Trishul SAM, the minister stated ” Dialogue is still on with Air Force to accept the system developed and produced for deploying in certain locations and for training/fire control/air defence practices.”
DRDO has already developed Trishul combat vehicle (Dev and user version) and Airforce launch, Airforce Radar vehicle.
The ever changing qualitative requirements by the Indian armed forces, during the development phases of the research projects, is one of the major cause of slippages on the product delivery schedules. Even late import of critical technology and sanctions have led to project slippages. The foreign OEM supplies for such projects have been marred by late deliveries, defective deliveries and lack of support. These imports are necessary as it cuts the development cost and time. Some of these technologies like millimetric wave components are not avaliable off the shelf and it took time to develop even in developed countries. So these products are sourced from the foreign suppliers untill a indigenous alternative is made avaliable.