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Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed a significant deal with the Indian Army to supply two regiments of upgraded Akash air defence missile systems, a move that is considered to be a major boost for the Make in India initiative in Defence.
The deal, worth over Rs 6000 crore, involves the third and fourth regiments of the missile system, and will see the upgraded versions of the missile system equipped with seekers for more accurate targeting of any offensive enemy aircraft or drone on the border.
The upgraded Akash missile systems have been designed to be effective on high altitude frontiers such as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in the north. In comparison to the existing Akash system, the upgraded version is equipped with an indigenous active Radio Frequency (RF) seeker for improved accuracy.
Other improvements ensure more reliable performance under low-temperature environments at higher altitudes. A modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon system has also been used.
The missile system can be deployed at heights up to 4,500 meters and can take down targets at a distance of around 25 to 30 kilometers. The missile systems are expected to provide more confidence to the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
This development is seen as a victory for the Make in India initiative as the weapon system was earlier planned to be imported from abroad, but the Narendra Modi government decided to induct the indigenous weapon system only.
This move will boost the indigenous defence industry and is expected to provide new opportunities for Indian industries to contribute to defence production.
The deal is a significant step towards self-reliance in the defence sector and is expected to pave the way for more such initiatives in the future.