NEW DELHI:Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will formally hand over indigenously developed Akash short range surface to air missile to the IAF at a ceremony in Gwalior on Friday.
Though IAF has been using the missile since December 2012, the force had asked for some change in its technical parameters to the its manufacturers Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a defence Public Sector Unit (PSU).
The IAF has asked for eight Squadrons of such Akash missile, which will be stationed at its base in Gwalior, Tezpur, Jorhat and Pune. These missile will provide air defence cover to the IA bases.
In May, the Army had also inducted the supersonic surface-to-air missile Akash, capable of targeting enemy helicopters, aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from a range of 25 km.
The missiles, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and subsequently BEL has become its manufacturer, was aimed to strengthen the Army Air Defence Corps, which was grappling for years with obsolete air defence weapons.
The Akash Weapon System employs command to line of sight guidance and relies on sophisticated radars and control systems to guide the missile to its targets.
The Army has initially placed orders for two Akash Regiments, with six firing batteries.