Coimbatore, May 19: Many countries have shown interest in procuring the indigenously developed surface to air Akash missile, a top Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official said in Coimbatore On Saturday. DRDO Chairman S Christopher told reporters that there was a growing demand for the Akash, an all-weather medium-range surface-to-air missile, and many nations had shown interest in it.
The Akash missile system can neutralise aerial targets such as fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles. According to Christopher, talks are underway with the countries, and the orders for the missile will come. He refused to disclose further details.
Interacting with media persons, the DRDO chairman also talked about the budget allocation to DRDO. He said, “This year the organisation has a budgetary allocation of Rs. 2,000 crore.”
Christopher also revealed that there were export inquiries for the BrahMos missile. He was in Coimbatore to participate in a function. 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 told PTI that the Akash missile was going to be in good demand for another three to four years as both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army needed them in good numbers. L&T Board whole-time Director (Defence) Jayant Patil confirmed that a new aerospace facility in the district would become operational in another 10 months. The new aerospace facility will also manufacture rocket motors for Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO). The defence arm of the L&T, is also supplying airframe to BrahMos missile.
According to a report published in The Hindu, the Indian Army is likely to order another batch of Akash missiles. The army is very satisfied with its operational capabilities and performance. The Akash missile is a medium-range surface-to-air missile which can simultaneously engage multiple targets in all kinds of weather conditions. It is developed by the DRDO and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems and Bharat Electronics (BEL) for other radars, control centres in India. The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. It is in operation in The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.
(With inputs from PTI)