India eyes producing more Akash missiles

Last Updated: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 17:55

Bangalore: Defence major Bharat Electronics
Limited expects to bag contracts worth at least Rs 10,000
crore in the next few months from Indian Air Force and the
army to produce several squadrons of Akash missile system.

Bangalore-based BEL has already bagged a Rs 1,221 crore
order from IAF to produce two squadrons of the surface-to-air
area defence guided missile system.

"They (IAF) are going to place another order for six
squadrons shortly (in a month)," said P C Jain, general
manager of BEL`s military radar business unit.

BEL sources said the order for six squadrons of Akash
missile system is estimated to be nearly Rs 3,500 crore.

They said each squadron consists of 48 missiles, a
surveillance radar (3D central acquisition radar) and a
tracking (flight level) radar and flight control centre, among
others.

According to Jain, the Indian Army is "looking for the
same (Akash missile) system", and BEL is expecting an order to
produce two regiments for it.

The army is currently in the process of finalising the
configuration it requires vis-a-vis the system.

"Each regiment is much bigger than a squadron, much,
much bigger...may be five-six squadron is equivalent to one
regiment," Jain said, indicating that the army order is
expected to be Rs 6,000 crore-Rs 7,000 crore.

The surveillance radar used in the Akash missile
system, a medium-range, multi-target surface-to-air defence
system which provides air defence against multifarious threats
to mobile, semi-mobile and static vulnerable forces and areas,
has a range of 120 km and the tracking radar 80 km.

The surveillance and tracking radar can detect 100
targets and 64 targets simultaneously, respectively.

The missile system has a range of 25 km and "it can go
up to an altitude of 18 km", Jain said. "It can engage four
targets simultaneously. We can launch eight missiles
simultaneously".

He also said the BEL has despatched the company-
produced weapon location radar system to Pokhran in Rajasthan
for user trials by the army, from which it expects to bag
order to deliver 50 such units.

Jain said BEL has delivered 1,400 Battle Field
Surveillance Radars to the Indian Army, adding, the IAF is now
looking to deploy such systems to monitor movement of
manpower, jeeps and other small vehicles in its airfields.

BEL would shortly make a presentation to the IAF in
this regard.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 17:55

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