Russia will open discussions with France-based SAGEM over the purchase of the Sigma 30 inertial navigation system during the Engineering Technologies International Forum held from 30 June to 4 July 2010.

The Sigma 30 artillery navigation and pointing system is specifically designed for high-precision artillery applications.

Russian deputy defense minister Vladimir Popovkin said the country was interested in buying the Sigma 30 as part of efforts to modernise its Smerch and Grad multiple rocket launchers, according to Russian state news agency Ria Novosti.

A Sagem spokesman said the company was ready to offer the Sigma 30 system to various Russian military manufacturers including Sukhoi to upgrade the Russian artillery and multiple rocket launchers.

“The firing range of the modernised multiple rocket launchers like the Grad has risen from 40km to 50-60km and fire control systems therefore also need to be modernised,” the spokesman said.