New Delhi: As part of the move to encourage indigenous weapons technology, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30 gave a go ahead to Indian manufacturers to participate in RFI and RFP issued by various countries for the acquisition of defence platforms and missiles, and Akash Missile System is one of them.
India is growing in its capabilities of manufacturing wide variety of defence platforms and missiles to boost Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. Akash is country’s important missile with over 96 per cent indigenisation.
The System is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 km, and was inducted in Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2014 and Indian Army the next year in 2015.
After its induction in the Services, several nations evinced interest in Akash missile during International Exhibitions/Def Expo/Aero India.
So far, Indian defence exports included parts/components etc. The export of big platforms was minimal. This initiative of the Cabinet would help the country to improve its defence products and make them globally competitive.
The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces.
Besides Akash, there is interest coming in other major platforms like Coastal Surveillance System, Radars and Air platforms. To provide faster approvals for export of such platforms, a Committee comprising of Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister and National Security Advisor has been created.
This Committee would authorise subsequent exports of major indigenous platforms to various countries. The Committee would also explore various available options including the Government-to-Government route.
Government intends to focus on exporting high value defence platforms to achieve target of US$5 billion of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.