India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the procurement of military hardware worth INR 9,100 crore (US$ 1.2 billion) that includes an upgraded version of the Akash missile, on Tuesday.
Akash is a surface-to-air missile with a range of 25 km. The DAC headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved purchase of two regiments of the missile. One regiment consists of six launchers with missiles each.
“The missile to be procured is an upgraded version of the previously inducted Akash missiles and will include seeker technology, possess 360-degree coverage and will be of compact configuration with reduced signature. The upgraded Akash Weapon System is operationally critical equipment which will provide protection to vital assets," the defence ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The defence acquisition council also gave its go-ahead for the design and development the individual under water breathing apparatus (IUWBA) for Russian-origin T-90 Tanks.
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the IUWBA is used by tank crews for emergency escape during deep fording. The spokesperson said the DAC also approved the design and development of “test equipment for guided weapons system of T-90 tank” by DRDO.
“It will give an indigenous solution to the test equipment… earlier procured from foreign original equipment manufacturers,” a ministry release added.
The Indian Army is likely to order another batch of home-grown Akash, medium-range surface-to-air missiles from Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO). “The defence forces were fully satisfied with the performance of Akash system and that they were also intending to enhance its performance, Lt
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