The Indian Air Force believes its requirement for surface to air missile weapon system can be fulfilled by indigenously built Akash and said there is no need for importing or co-developing a similar system.
The statement comes at the heels of a proposed joint venture worth $5 billion between India’s Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) and France’s MBDA to produce short range surface-to-air missile (SR-SAM) systems for the IAF as part of the Maitri program.
During talks between French President Francois Hollande and the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in January 2013, the two sides had stated that negotiations for finalization of the joint development programme have been concluded.
Akash, with a 27-km range and an effective ceiling of 15km, has been designed, developed and produced by DRDO and recently completed successful development trials of Akash missile system.
According to reports, the IAF has already placed orders for eight squadrons of the Akash surface-to-air missile and will likely place orders for another 25 squadrons of the weapon systems to meet its complete requirement of air defence missiles of this range.