The Union Cabinet has approved the export of Akash Missile, a surface-to-air missile to allied countries. Along with this, it has also been decided to set up a committee to increase exports.
- It is to be noted that 9 countries of Southeast Asia and Africa have shown interest in buying this missile system. According to the Ministry of Defense, Akash is an important missile of the country and it is 96 percent indigenous in nature.
- According to the Ministry of Defense, this will help the country to improve its defense products and make them globally competitive. With this, under AtmaNirbhar Bharat, India can increase its capabilities in manufacturing various types of defense equipment and missiles.
- This step will help achieve the US $ 5 billion targets of defense exports and strengthen the strategic relationship with the Allied countries.
- Apart from Akash, the demand for export of other major systems such as coastal surveillance systems, radar, and air-based systems has also increased.
- Also, a committee comprising Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, and National Security Advisor has been constituted to provide speedy approval for exports of the major indigenous systems.
Akash Missile System:
- Akash is a surface-to-air missile. It has been developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Its range is up to 25 km.
- This missile was inducted into the Indian Air Force in 2014 and the Indian Army in 2015. It may be noted that in the year 1990, the first test flight of the Akash missile was conducted.
Range and Capacity:
- The Akash missile, with nuclear capability, is capable of flying at a speed of 2.5 Mach (about 860 m per second) at a maximum height of 18 km.
- It can target enemy airbases such as fighter jets, drones, cruise, air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles from a distance of 30 km.
- The cost of development of the Akash missile is 8–10 times less than the cost of similar developed systems in other countries.
Akash Missile inducted into Indian Army:
It is worth noting that the Akash missile was inducted into the Indian Air Force in the year 2014 and the Indian Army in the year 2015.
India export military equipment to 42 countries across the world
- India is currently exporting defense equipment to a total of 42 countries, including countries such as the US, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius.
- India accounts for only 0.17% of global arms exports.
- India aims to export the US $ 5 billion worth of military hardware by the year 2025.
Source: PIB, The Hindu