Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 30
In a major move to boost domestic defence manufacturing, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the export of indigenously-developed Akash missile system and set up a panel to ensure faster approvals for export of India-made military equipment.
Akash is a surface-to-air missile with a range of 25 km. The missile was inducted in the IAF in 2014 and the Army in 2015. It is used largely in air defence roles, implying to bring down incoming aerial targets. The missile made by Public Sector giant Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) is over 96 per cent indigenous.
After its induction in the Indian armed forces, interest was shown in Akash missile by many friendly countries during international exhibitions.
So far, Indian defence exports included parts or components. The export of big platforms was minimal. This initiative of the Cabinet will help the country improve its defence products and make them globally competitive. The export version of Akash will be different from the system currently deployed with the armed forces. Besides Akash, there is interest coming in other major platforms like Coastal Surveillance System and Radars and Air platforms. To provide faster approval for export of such platforms, a committee comprising the Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister and National Security Adviser has been created. The committee will authorise subsequent exports of major indigenous platforms to various countries. It will also explore various available options, including the government-to-government route.
The Government of India intends to focus on exporting high-value defence platforms to achieve the target of $5 billion of defence exports and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.
Nod to Indian missions in 3 countries
- The Union Cabinet has approved the opening of Indian missions in Estonia, Paraguay and Dominican Republic, a move that would help promote trade and cultural relations with these countries.
- Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the move was part of efforts to expand India’s diplomatic footprint and enable growth of bilateral trade.