On Thursday, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) — India’s State-owned Missile manufacturer — signed a contract worth around Rs 499 crore (60.8 million USD) with the Ministry of Defence for the manufacture and supply of Akash Short Ranged Surface to Air Missiles to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The deal was signed in New Delhi by Air Commodore Ajay Singhal, responsible for Guided Weapons Maintenance on behalf of Indian Air Force, and Commodore T N Kaul (Retd), Executive Director (Marketing) on behalf of BDL in the presence of Radhakrishna. The IAF will get the Mk1 version of the missiles from the deal to increase the numbers of batteries for commissioned launchers.
BDL is the frontline production agency for projects under India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). Akash is one of the missiles under IGMDP being manufactured by BDL.
IGMDP has seen strategic ballistic missile development since the early 1990s, including Prithvi, Dhanush, and Agni series missiles operated by Strategic Forces Command for nuclear warhead deliveries, both for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. The Missile has been successfully test-fired on several occasions and is regarded as one of the best missiles in its category.
The company also manufactures anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface weapons, launchers, test equipment, underwater weapons, and countermeasure systems, and is currently overseeing options to manufacture drones.
Akash is a Short Ranged Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) designed by DRDO. A command RF guided system with a range of 30 kms, the missile is mobile and is in operation with the IAF and the Indian Army. India aims to replace older Soviet missiles with indigenous options.