India on Tuesday announced scrapping of the country's strategic integrated guided missile programme, and said the development and production of most of futuristic weapons systems will henceforth be undertaken with foreign collaboration.
However, longer range missiles, under-sea launched missiles and futuristic weapons systems like electronic counter-warfare measures will be 'undertaken in-house,' said Dr S Prahlada, one of country's top defence scientists.
He said 'closure' of the Integrated Development of Guided Missile Programme had been done as manufacture of most of the missiles to be developed under the project had been almost completed and inducted into the armed forces.
"Unlike post-Pokhran, when doors to technology transfers were closed on us, now doors of frontline armament technology transfer are now open," he said.
"New missile and weapons systems will be developed within a five-year time frame at low costs, with foreign partners and private industries," Prahalda, Chief Controller at Defence Research and Development Organisation headquarters, said.
The first of such ventures, Prahalda said, will be development of quick reaction missiles to counter threats from low-flying missiles and fighters and Astra, India first bid to develop a beyond-visual range air-to-air missile.
While India would be collaborating with Israel for development of surface-to-air upgraded spyder missiles, for Astra, New Delhi has roped in French and Russian collobrators.