NEW DELHI: The cost of the targeted SRSAM project that the Indian Army is planning to acquire from abroad is 70 per cent of the Akash missile system.
In contract, in May 2015, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, while inducting two regiments of Akash missiles, had said: “It is a matter of great pride for the nation that today indigenous state-of-the-art ‘Akash’ air defence weapon system is being inducted into the Indian Army. The capability that we have with this system will ensure that it takes care of vulnerability of our assets. Akash is a step towards self-realisation of indigenisation”.
Akash is an indigenously developed supersonic short range surface-to-air missile system with the capability to engage a wide variety of aerial threats like aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles up to a maximum range of 25 km and up to an altitude of 20 km.
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The system, which has 96 per cent indigenisation, is capable of simultaneously engaging multiple targets in all weather conditions and is capable of providing comprehensive short-range missile cover to the vulnerable assets in the field force of the Army.
Akash is one of the five core missile systems of the integrated guided missile development programme, launched by DRDO in 1984.
The Army had initially ordered two Akash regiments, with six firing batteries of a project cost of `19,500 crore. But in less than a year, it has changed its opinion on the home-made missile.
“Army has proposed a composite approach of procuring SRSAM from globally and simultenously technological improvement of Akash missile system,” Army headquarters told The Sunday Standard.
When contacted, DRDO officials refused to comment on the army’s claim.