Ending a long wait for a credible firepower to tackle enemy's fighters, helicopters and drones, the Indian Army on Monday is going to get the Akash missile system, a proven formidable shield against any possible aerial threats.
The Akash missile system will be "dedicated to Army" on May 5 in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a function held at iconic Manekshaw Centre here, an Army official said.
"Mr Parrikar will symbolically hand over the first surface-to-air Akash missile system that can be fired from mobile launchers with powerful multi-function radars to evaluate and track threats," the official said. Akash is basically an area specific missile defence system, which have an interception range of over 25 km in all weather conditions. The Army will be getting two Akash regiments during the course of next two years. The system of six firing batteries is to cost the Army about Rs 14,180 crore.It has already been inducted in the the IAF, which is in process of deploying six squadrons of missiles in the north-eastern region to counter the aerial threat emanating from China.
Both Air Force and the Army have appreciated the system, declining several offers from foreign vendors for providing similar missile cover, while DRDO and French company MBDA are to jointly develop such missile system for the Navy, under the project Maitry. The Akash is part the integrated guided missile development programme, which has proven its worth beyond doubts. Almost 100 per cent indigenous, the missile system is being produced by the government owned Bharat Electronics and Bharat Dynamics.