Sunday, August 2, 2009

Indian Army is considering induction Akash SAM

The Army has finally said yes to the Akash area air defence missile system. It recently expressed interest in acquiring the 30-km range missile to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).The Army's wishlist also includes a surface-to-air 50-km range missile and a low-level quick reaction missile for ranges less than 15 km.

But the requests for these two have not been finalised yet.The Army was engaged in a battle with the Indian Air Force (IAF) over acquiring the 50-km range missile. The IAF had said they needed the missile as they, unlike the Army, had to defend air space.But now, the Army has told the DRDO that "we are considering induction" (of the Akash missile system). C.K. Prahlada, chief controller at the DRDO, said: "We are grateful to the Army for this decision. In fact, Akash was developed keeping the Army in mind. I have assured them a world-class missile." The DRDO has said they'd deliver the missiles within two years from the date of the order.

"It will be to the Army's specifications and at a delivery rate of its choosing. We shall provide services for upgradation and product support," Prahlada said.The DRDO is interested in bidding for the low-level quick reaction missile that the Army needs, but it cannot pitch Trishul missile as its range is only 9 km. "We will have to develop a missile for a range of 12 km," he added.The DRDO is also happy that the two radars of the Akash missile system are generating a lot of business for the Indian indigenous industries.


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