New Delhi: The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its nod to the export of surface-to-air Akash missile systems to friendly foreign countries. Cabinet has also created a high-power committee that would ensure faster approval of the sale of India's indigenously developed missiles. "The export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian Armed Forces," said a press statement issued by the Ministry of Defence on Wednesday evening.
Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms. The missile was inducted in 2014 in IAF and in 2015 in Indian Army. The Akash weapon system has given a boost to the all-round capability enhancement and operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces to meet all the contemporary and emerging challenges of negating the enemy's air threat.
"So far, Indian defence exports included parts/components etc. The export of big platforms was minimal. This initiative of the Cabinet would help the country to improve its defence products and make them globally competitive" the statement further noted. Besides Akash, there is interest coming in other major platforms like Coastal Surveillance System, Radars and Air platforms, said the ministry.
The high-power committee formed by the union cabinet for faster approvals for export of such platforms has Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister and National Security Advisor as its members. This Committee would authorise subsequent exports of major indigenous platforms to various countries. The Committee would also explore various available options including the Government-to-Government route.
"Government of India intends to focus on exporting high-value defence platforms, to achieve the target of 5 Billion USD of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries" the statement added.
'Akash Missile' is one of the most successful indigenous weapon system, designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
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