Cabinet okays Akash missile export; Creates MoD, MEA, NSA committee for defence export approval

New Delhi: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated in a press communication on Monday, 30th December, that under the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme, India is growing in its capabilities of manufacturing a wide variety of defence platforms and missiles, adding that Akash is the country’s important missile with over 96 percent indigenisation. Akash is a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) with a range of 25 km. The missile was inducted in 2014 into the Indian Air Force (IAF) and in 2015 into the Indian Army.

After its induction in the defence services, interest was shown in the Akash missile by many friendly countries during international exhibitions/Def Expo/Aero India, according to the MoD statement, which added that the Cabinet approval will facilitate Indian manufactures to participate in RFI/RFP issued by various countries.

So far, Indian defence exports included parts/components etc. The export of big platforms was minimal, the Defence Ministry stated, adding that this initiative of the Cabinet would help the country to improve its defence products and make them globally competitive.

The export version of Akash will be different from the system currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces, the MoD clarified.

Besides Akash, there is interest coming in other major platforms like the coastal surveillance system, radars, and air platforms, the Defence Ministry stated, adding that to provide faster approvals for export of such platforms, a Committee comprising of the Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister, and National Security Advisor has been created. This Committee will authorise the subsequent exports of major indigenous platforms to various countries. The Committee will also explore various available options including the Government-to-Government route.

The MoD stated that the Government of India intends to focus on exporting high-value defence platforms, to achieve a target of $5 billion of defence exports and to improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.

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The ID Staff

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