Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Indian Army orders Akash Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile

The Army has finally agreed to acquire the indigenous two-stage ramjet ‘Akash’ missile. The ‘in-principle’ agreement came at a meeting in the Defence Ministry last week. While the Army has given its nod, induction will depend on the delivery schedule Bharat Dynamics Limited, which makes the missile, is able to maintain. For, the public sector undertaking is already processing orders for six additional squadrons from the Indian Air Force.Top sources in the Ministry said Army Chief General V.K. Singh gave his ‘in-principle’ agreement at a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council. The meeting also gave its final clearance for acquisition of Ultra Light Howitzers (ULH) from the United States through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.In 2008, the IAF placed orders for two squadrons of the Akash Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MR-SAM) for Rs. 1,222 crore. This was the first-ever contract from the defence services for an indigenous tactical weapon system of this class.In February this year, Defence Minister A.K. Antony announced that the council had cleared an additional six squadrons of MR-SAM for the IAF at a cost of Rs. 5,000


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