By Anantha Krishnan M. | Aviation Week | March 25 | Bangalore | India |
India’s Cabinet Committee on Security has cleared the indigenous Akash Missile System (AMS) for service with the Indian army, which plans an initial order worth $3.1 billion.
Dr. Prahlada, chief controller for Aeronautics & Services Interaction at the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), tells Aviation Week that the initial Army order will be for two regiments — approximately 2,000 missiles.
“The order also includes ground systems, radars and launchers,” Prahlada says. Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Ltd. [BDL] will be the principal integrator. The company is expected to make 500 missiles per year, and the first batch will roll out by September 2012.
The order for homegrown missiles is “like having home-made food,” Prahlada says. “It will be reliable, cost-effective and fresh. It will be to your taste, readily available with no hassles. There won’t be issues with spares and contracts. We are sure this order [will] augur well for DRDO.”
The Indian military’s combined orders of AMS, including two radars, have a total worth of Rs 23,300 crore ($5.18 billion). The Akash missile systems consist of a launcher, a missile with a 25-30-km (16-19-mi.) range, control center, multifunction fire control radar and supporting ground equipment.
Meanwhile, BDL issued a press release to Hyderabad media on March 25, confirimg the Army order. The release says that the contract is the highest value placed by the Indian Army to date.
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