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Sunday 19 January 2020

Importers interested in buying Akash missile, says DRDO

There is a growing demand for the Akash, an all-weather medium-range surface-to-air missile, and many nations have shown interest in it

New Delhi: Several countries have evinced interest in procuring the indigenously developed Akash missile, an all-weather medium-range surface-to-air missile, Defence Research and Development Organisation Chairman S Christopher said here on Saturday.

Akash missile is a medium-range surface-to-air missile which can simultaneously engage multiple targets in all kinds of weather conditions.

The Akash system features a launcher, a missile, an integral mission guidance system, autopilot system, C4I centres, and also a multifunctional radar. Its system is also equipped with batteries with control centre and radars which help in tracking targets. For further efficiency, the system is also integrated with a self-destructive device.

The missile launched from this system can fly at a supersonic speed ranging from 2.8 Mach to 3.5 Mach. Its range capability is approximately 25 km.

The Akash missile is being developed by the DRDO under the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP). Inducted first in the May 2015, Akash missile system has faced many difficulties, but has emerged as one of best surface-to-air missile system after it was successfully tested in December 2017.A

Developed by the DRDO, the Akash missile system has the capability to neutralise aerial targets such as fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.

Christopher, who was here to participate in a function, also said there were export inquiries for the BrahMos missile. BrahMos is a joint venture between the DRDO of India and the NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.

PSU Bharat Dynamics Ltd Chairman and Managing Director, V Udaya Bhaskar said the Akash missile is going to be in good demand for another three to four years as both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army need them in good numbers.

The Indian Army is also likely to order another batch of Akash missiles, India’s first indigenously built surface-to-air missile developed by the DRDO. The Indian Army, which has shown immense interest in the Akash missile system, is very satisfied with its operational capabilities and performance

It was also reported in 2016, that the Indian Army had rejected the indigenously built Akash missiles. The Indian Army in 2016, had said that it would not procure more Akash missiles and that it would instead go for the Israeli quick reaction surface-to-air missiles(QR SAMs). It had said that the Akash defence missile systems had not met its operational requirements in defending enemy air attacks in the forward areas.

But, the Indian Army today seems to be convinced by its capabilities and is likely to procure more missile systems. The Indian Army continues to maintain the existing order for six firing Akash batteries with hundred missiles each and the deal was fixed for Rs 14,180 crore.

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