Fewer missiles make it tough for IAF to secure Indian Akash



Indian Air Force’s preparedness has been badly hit by inadequate supply of medium range surface-to-air Akash Missile. The IAF had planned to induct 96 Akash surface to air missiles last year, but could manage just 15.

Akash employs command guidance, real time multi-sensor data processing, threat evaluation and relies on phased array radar to guide the missile to intercept the target at a height of more than 20,000 feet.  Indigenously designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO), the missile was meant to  bolster the air defence capabilities of IAF and the Army.
In his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in mid-March, Army chief General VK Singh had pointed to the poor state of air defence. Non-availability of surface-to-air missiles like Akash gave the enemy opportunity to exploit gaps in India’s air defence.
At present, Army and IAF have  Russian-made Pechora and Osa-ak missiles, which were nearing the end of their operational life. On the other hand, countries like China and Pakistan had acquired latest missiles and air craft capable of piercing India’s air defence cover.
The Government gave the nod two years back to the Army to raise two regiments of Akash missiles and eight squadrons for the IAF. One regiment has more than 200 missiles, and one squadron 125 missiles. The IAF order is worth over Rs1,200 crore while that of Army would cost over Rs14,000 crore.
The Bangalore-based Indian defence major Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) suffered heavy losses due to the short supply and production of the Akash missiles.
In a Press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday,  BEL chairman and Managing director Anil Kumar said the short supply of Akash missile system to IAF affected both the  top and the bottom line of the company, whose revenue grew just by 3.3 per cent to Rs5,710 crore (provisional) in 2011-12 as against Rs5,529.69 crore the previous year. However, BEL has targeted a revenue of Rs6,000 crore for the year.
Pointing out that BEL could provide only 15 missiles against the  target of 96, Kumar said the company was now under recovery process and would meet the target this fiscal.
“Technical snag encountered by a consortium partner led to defence electronics major Bharat Electronics, short supply of Akash Weapon System to the Indian Air Force, in the last fiscal,” he said.
Kumar said the technical snag had since been rectified and the supplies would be completed by December 2012.According to him, BEL has obtained an order worth Rs3,125 crore for supply of Akash system to the Army.
A part of the  consortium of  six major companies, BEL is  a system integrator of the medium range missile.
Kumar said BEL is also eyeing for a larger share of the Rs 16,000 crore missile order of the defence by extending the expertise it had gained in Akash missile system.
‘We are exploring opportunities in long rage surface-to-air missile, medium range missiles and short range missiles and variants for all the three services of Indian defence. BEL was already a lead integrator for Long range surface-to-air missile for the Indian Navy,’’ the BEL chief said.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday reviewed the overall security situation and took stock of implications of Pakistan testing its nuclear capable Hatf-IV long range missile. He also reviewed operational preparedness to deal with any threat with the three Service Chiefs in Delhi. 
Pakistan launched the missile with a strike range of 750 km on Wednesday after India successfully test fires Agni-5 long range ballistic missile on April 19.  In the one-hour meeting, which was also attended by National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, reviewed security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan as these two nations have direct strategic impact on India.
Antony was also informed about China’s military preparedness and steps taken by the armed forces to counter the threat posed by the eastern neighbour.  The minister had urged the military top brass to take adequate steps on Tuesday in the backdrop of “China’s strategic rivalry with India and Japan.”

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fewer missiles make it tough for IAF to secure Indian Akash


Indian Air Force’s preparedness has been badly hit by inadequate supply of medium range surface-to-air Akash Missile. The IAF had planned to induct 96 Akash surface to air missiles last year, but could manage just 15.

Akash employs command guidance, real time multi-sensor data processing, threat evaluation and relies on phased array radar to guide the missile to intercept the target at a height of more than 20,000 feet.  Indigenously designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO), the missile was meant to  bolster the air defence capabilities of IAF and the Army.
In his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in mid-March, Army chief General VK Singh had pointed to the poor state of air defence. Non-availability of surface-to-air missiles like Akash gave the enemy opportunity to exploit gaps in India’s air defence.
At present, Army and IAF have  Russian-made Pechora and Osa-ak missiles, which were nearing the end of their operational life. On the other hand, countries like China and Pakistan had acquired latest missiles and air craft capable of piercing India’s air defence cover.
The Government gave the nod two years back to the Army to raise two regiments of Akash missiles and eight squadrons for the IAF. One regiment has more than 200 missiles, and one squadron 125 missiles. The IAF order is worth over Rs1,200 crore while that of Army would cost over Rs14,000 crore.
The Bangalore-based Indian defence major Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) suffered heavy losses due to the short supply and production of the Akash missiles.
In a Press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday,  BEL chairman and Managing director Anil Kumar said the short supply of Akash missile system to IAF affected both the  top and the bottom line of the company, whose revenue grew just by 3.3 per cent to Rs5,710 crore (provisional) in 2011-12 as against Rs5,529.69 crore the previous year. However, BEL has targeted a revenue of Rs6,000 crore for the year.
Pointing out that BEL could provide only 15 missiles against the  target of 96, Kumar said the company was now under recovery process and would meet the target this fiscal.
“Technical snag encountered by a consortium partner led to defence electronics major Bharat Electronics, short supply of Akash Weapon System to the Indian Air Force, in the last fiscal,” he said.
Kumar said the technical snag had since been rectified and the supplies would be completed by December 2012.According to him, BEL has obtained an order worth Rs3,125 crore for supply of Akash system to the Army.
A part of the  consortium of  six major companies, BEL is  a system integrator of the medium range missile.
Kumar said BEL is also eyeing for a larger share of the Rs 16,000 crore missile order of the defence by extending the expertise it had gained in Akash missile system.
‘We are exploring opportunities in long rage surface-to-air missile, medium range missiles and short range missiles and variants for all the three services of Indian defence. BEL was already a lead integrator for Long range surface-to-air missile for the Indian Navy,’’ the BEL chief said.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister A K Antony on Wednesday reviewed the overall security situation and took stock of implications of Pakistan testing its nuclear capable Hatf-IV long range missile. He also reviewed operational preparedness to deal with any threat with the three Service Chiefs in Delhi. 
Pakistan launched the missile with a strike range of 750 km on Wednesday after India successfully test fires Agni-5 long range ballistic missile on April 19.  In the one-hour meeting, which was also attended by National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, reviewed security situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan as these two nations have direct strategic impact on India.
Antony was also informed about China’s military preparedness and steps taken by the armed forces to counter the threat posed by the eastern neighbour.  The minister had urged the military top brass to take adequate steps on Tuesday in the backdrop of “China’s strategic rivalry with India and Japan.”

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