Akash medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system at Aero India 2019 (image: Aishwarya Rakesh)

India has approved the sale of indigenous Akash missiles, other weapons systems and air platforms for export.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision to sell weapons to achieve India’s target of $5 billion exports and improving strategic relations with friendly foreign countries, Indian media reported.

Vietnam, Philippines and U.A.E. have reportedly shown interest in buying Akash missile system.

Akash can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. The system provides air defence missile coverage for an area of 2,000 km². It has the capability to neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.

An Akash battery comprises a single Rajendra 3D passive electronically scanned array radar and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interlinked. Each battery can track up to 64 targets and attack up to 12 of them. The missile has a 60 kg high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead with a proximity fuse. The Akash system is fully mobile and capable of protecting a moving convoy of vehicles.

Export version of the system will be different from the one used by the Indian armed forces.

In addition, Abu Dhabi is looking at Astra 70km range air-to-air missile. These missiles can be armed on Mirage jets operated by the country.