Rs 5400 crore deal inked for 7 more squadrons of Akash missiles
NEW DELHI: The IAF on Friday got a long-delayed booster shot to shore up its air defence capabilities, with a Rs 5,400 crore deal being inked with defence PSU Bharat Electronics for seven additional squadrons of the indigenous Akash surface-to-air missile systems.
Sources said the delivery of the new Akash-2 squadrons, which are geared to intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and sub-sonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km, will begin in 18 months. “All the seven squadrons will be delivered within three years,” said a source.
IAF had earlier ordered eight Akash-1 missile squadrons for Rs 6,200 crore, six of which are deployed in the north-east to counter Chinas build-up of military infrastructure all along the Line of Actual Control, which includes eight fully-operational airbases in Tibet. The other two squadrons have come up at the Mirage-2000 fighter base in Gwalior and Sukhoi-30MKI base in Pune.
The Army, in turn, has inducted two Akash regiments at a cost of Rs 14,180 crore, while another two are in the pipeline. The fully-automated Akash air defence missile systems, which have all-weather capability and can handle multiple aerial threats attacking from several directions simultaneously, are meant to prevent enemy fighters, helicopters and drones from attacking vital military installations and bases.
Using an integrated two-stage Ramjet rocket propulsion technology, the sleek 5.6-metOriginal Article