SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
With over 96% indigenous content and with the solid backing and orders from Indian Army and Indian Airforce, India’s indigenously developed Akash short-range surface-to-air missile is fast emerging as Reliable, efficient and yet low-cost weapons system which has potential to replace several vintage Air Defence system used by many countries in the Asian region.
As part of performance enhancements package, Akash will be receiving an addition of Seeker on the basic Akash-1 version to further improve its interception reliability against aerial targets.
DRDO is also working to bring new Universal Canister launcher for Akash-1, Akash-1S and Akash-II in future which will improve the reliability of the weapon system considerably and will also reduce the need for regular maintenance of the system.
Indian Army which was highly critical of the program in past, now already has inducted two Akash regiments and also has accepted it has SR-SAM (short-range surface-to-air missile) system, which further lead to Army cancelling a global tender for additional SR SAMs and instead decided to place further orders for two more Akash regiments now.
Vietnam is one of the first International customers who has shown interest in procuring this Air Defence System from India and in fact is also keen on producing this missile locally with Transfer of Technology from India. DRDO also has said that several other countries too are interested in the weapon system and as per media speculations Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia are few of these countries who are very keen on acquiring this weapon system from India.
DRDO to keep Akash Air Defence System technologically relevant for next few decades already has tested missile with a Seeker which also many potential export clients were very keen on. Akash-1S was developed after getting feedback from Indian Army and as per media speculation even from prospective clients.
DRDO also has started developmental work on new enhanced Akash-II which will have improved range of over 35km from its current range of 25km and will also feature a Canister based launcher where missiles can be stored for few years. Canister-based launchers will not only protect missiles from harsh weather conditions but also make it difficult to detect a hidden Air Defence System from airborne sensors.
With Push for Defence exports coming from Countries Prime Minister Modi its self, Akash Air Defence System already has been cleared by PMO and it is high time India starts exporting these weapon systems not only to secure few friends in the region against rising China but also start making money from this large Government owned and funded Defence units where Government itself is their biggest client, export will help India to fund newer products for its armed forces .