India to start exporting Akash Missile System after Cabinet gives nod

The missile system, which has been successfully test fired, is 96% indigenous, with its surface to air missile having a range of 25 km

In a push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, 64 per cent of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 were earmarked for acquisitions of domestically produced arms, the report said about India's spending.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday (December 30) announced that the central Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the export of the Akash Missile System, in a move that will give a fillip to the government’s vision of a self-reliant India.

Making the announcement in a series of tweets, Singh said the government has also created a committee for the faster approval of the exports.

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“Akash is country’s important missile with over 96 percent indigenisation. Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms. The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces,” he tweeted.

Earlier this month, the Indian Air Force successfully test fired the Akash missiles in Andhra Pradesh during the Combat Weapons Firing 2020 exercise.

Developed by DRDO, the indigenous missiles can engage aerial threats up to a maximum range of 25 km and up to an altitude of 18 km. They operate at a speech of 1.8 to 2.5 Mach. The Akash Weapon System which includes missiles and ground support equipment can track 64 targets in the background and launch eight missiles against four targets at the same time. The system has been inducted into the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.

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The defence minister said while earlier Indian defence exports were limited to parts and components, the export of the missile system would “help the country to improve its defence products and make them globally competitive.”

“The Government of India intends to focus on exporting high value defence platforms, to achieve target of 5 Billion USD of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries,” he said in another tweet.