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Cabinet approves export of indigenous Akash missile system

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave an approval for export of indigenous Akash Missile system, intending to achieve target of $5 billion of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.

However, the export version of Akash will be different from System currently deployed with Indian armed forces.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter in a series of tweets to announce the development.

“Under the #AtmaNirbharBharat, India is growing in its capabilities of manufacturing wide variety of Defence platforms and missiles,” Mr Singh said.

Akash is country’s important missile with over 96 percent indigenisation, he said.

Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms.

The missile was inducted into Indian Air Force in 2014 and in Indian Army in 2015.

After its induction in the Services, interest is shown in Akash missile by many friendly countries during International Exhibitions/Def Expo/Aero India.

The Cabinet approval will facilitate Indian manufactures to participate in RFI/RFP issued by various countries, an official statement said.

So far, Indian defence exports included parts/components among others.

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, it said.

Besides Akash, the friendly nations have also shown interest in other major platforms like Coastal Surveillance System, Radars and Air platforms.

To provide faster approvals for export of such platforms, a Committee comprising of defence minister, external affairs minister and National Security Advisor has been created.

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.

Developed by DRDO, it is India’s first indigenously designed missile system and can target fighter jets, cruise missiles, drones and other aerial assets.

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