New Delhi: The Indian Army on Tuesday scripted a major milestone when it inducted the home-grown surface-to-air missile system Akash.
The indigenous content in this state-of the art weapon system is 96 per cent.
The token handing over ceremony was held at the Manekshaw Centre in Dehli. The Akash Weapon System will add teeth to Indian Army's Air Defence Corps.
The Army version of Akash has been developed by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), while the already-inducted Indian Air Force (IAF) version has been developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
The Indian Army has placed orders for two Akash regiments with BDL, estimated at around Rs 19,000 crore. The first regiment is likely to be deployed in Punjab.
Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh dedicated the Akash Weapon System to the Corps of Army Air Defence.
The technologies for Akash have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
General Singh patted DRDO and BDL for their integrated approach while developing and delivering such a complex missile system. He said the induction is in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make-in-India initiative.
New era for Army's air defence
An Army spokesperson said that the induction marks a new era for the Army Air Defence towards its drive for modernisation to counter the challenges posed by the enhanced air threat due to rapid improvements in the avionics field.
"This will also give a boost to the all round capability enhancement and operational effectiveness of the Army to meet all the contemporary and emerging challenges of negating the enemy's air threat," the spokesperson said.
In an interview to OneIndia recently, Nataraj Krishnappa, General Manager (Missile Systems), BEL, had said that the first order for Akash Missile System for the IAF was worth about Rs 1200 crore.
IAF version already commissioned
The IAF had placed an order for two squadrons on BEL in 2008 and these squadrons have already been supplied, installed and commissioned.
The IAF also placed a repeat order of six more squadrons worth around Rs 3500 crore on BEL in 2010. BEL hopes to complete the order this year.
BEL has supplied all the radars, control centres, satellite data-links to BDL for integration on Army variants of Akash.
Akash features at quick glance
- Indigenously developed supersonic short range surface-to-air missile
- Can engage a wide variety of aerial threats like aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles
- Can taken on targets up to a maximum range of 25 km and at an altitude of 20 km
- Capable of simultaneously engaging multiple targets
- Can provide comprehensive short range missile cover to the vulnerable assets in the field force of Army
- It employs command to line of sight guidance and relies on sophisticated radars and control systems to guide the missile to its targets.
- Designed and developed by the DRDO
- BDL is the lead integrator for the Army version of Akash
- BEL, ECIL, HAL, TATA Power SED and L&T too played their roles
- A total of 61 Indian public and private sector firms took part in Akash programme