Saturday, January 23, 2021

Will Akash Missile Deal Take India-UAE Defence Relations To New Heights?

India, UAE share robust relations and the Akash Missile Deal may take these ties to next level. At the recently concluded visit by a high-level defence delegation from UAE, purchase of Akash Missiles was vigorously discussed with the Indian counterparts.

The delegation led by UAE Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi Al Falacy is enthusiastic on purchasing this Akash missile which has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India.

The Akash missile is developed to keep fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones from attacking critical installations and is comparable to the SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) Missile of Israel.

India’s Akash is loaded with a battery that can trail and attack numerous targets simultaneously; the missile can carry a warhead of 60 kgs and can hit the target up to 30 kms. On the contrary, the SPYDER is a low-level, quick reaction missile projected to neutralise hostile boards up to 15 km away and at heights between 20 and 9,000 metres.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has already installed the SPYDER Missile along with the homemade Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) with a range of 25 km as part of a strategic planning for a double layer tactic to guard critical resources and locations in the country.

The Israeli Missile can provide air defence for fixed assets and for point and area defence for mobile forces in combat areas fitted on either Tatra Trucks or Scania P-series truck, or a Dongfeng truck.

However, the Akash Missile can be propelled from static or mobile platforms and can take multi-target and destroy directional targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), fighter aircraft, cruise missiles and missiles launched from helicopters. The system also defends susceptible areas in all-weather circumstances against medium-range air targets being attacked from low, medium and high altitudes.

India has made certain changes in its Defence Export Policy which would permit it to trade on different boards to friendly nations. The UAE government is perhaps looking at the DRDO-developed Astra 70-kilometre range air-to-air missile too to be tailored on the Mirage fighter planes that it is functioning, as reported by FE Online earlier.

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