To achieve the target of $5 billion defense exports and improving strategic relations with friendly foreign countries, the Indigenous Akash surface to air missile system has been cleared for export by Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but it came with clear ridder that the Akash missile system that is going to be exported will be different from the one which the Indian armed forces are using.

Informed sources close to have confirmed that DRDO will be in charge of the development of a baseline Akash missile system and its ecosystem (launchers, control centers, re-loaders Guidance, and surveillance radars) that will be customized as per the requirements of the respective country.

The export variant of the Akash Missile system won’t be inferior to what Indian armed forces have but it won’t have some systems that were specially asked by Army or Airforce that an export customer might not be interested in, for instance, the Akash missile system has been fine-tuned for desert condition operations and also fine-tuned for high altitude operations that require some changes in hardware and their storage capabilities and advance algorithms and fine-tuned radar software that export customer won’t be requiring due to lack of such terrain in their country.

The second objective is to make them tamper-proof to limit unauthorized modifications and any attempts at reverse engineering of the technology to protect Indian Intellectual Property rights but also for simple reasons like a warranty issue to address possible faulty components or system delivered to the export customers. DRDO will also be required to cater to the demands of export customers on platforms on which launchers, control centers, re-loaders, Guidance, and surveillance radars along with Maintenance, Repair, and other logistical engineering support system can be mounted on.

The baseline Akash missile system for Export will be used for demonstration and evaluation trials to prospective customers of the system. MOD has confirmed that nine countries have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems. Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam, and Algeria are countries that have either asked for a demonstration of the missile system or asked to be sent for evaluation trials in their country. can confirm Transfer of Technology (ToT) of the Akash missile system is on offer and only Vietnam seems to be keen on it, while other countries are will go for off-the-shelf purchases. Vietnam is also closely following the development of the Akash-NG missile system, even though it has not started its developmental trials yet, Vietnam is very keen on it too. India has told them that it will take time to be available for exports due to local demands.

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