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BEL to deliver two squadrons of Akash missile to IAF by year-end

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BANGALORE (BNS): Indian defence major Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has recently tested the radar system for the Akash surface-to-air missile and hopes to deliver first two squadrons of the indigenous missile system to the Indian Air force by this year end.

“The complete testing of the radar system to be installed on the Akash missile has been conducted last month. BEL is completing the integration of the missile systems and hopes to deliver the first two squadrons to the IAF by December 2011,” a top company official said here today.

Bangalore-based BEL had bagged orders worth Rs 1,221 crore from IAF to produce two squadrons of the Akash surface-to-air area defence guided missile system. It received further orders to produce six more squadrons of Akash. Each squadron comprises 125 missiles.

About the company’s role in producing the same missile system for the Indian Army, the official said that BEL will partner with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) which is the lead contractor for the programme. “We will assist BDL in producing Akash for the Army,” the official told reporters during Aero India 2011.

The company has also conducted test trials for the DRDO-developed weapons locating radars last month. The radars are to be supplied to the Indian Army.

The state-run company, which is in talks with Thales, France for jointly producing radars for military and civilian purposes, and also negotiating with Israel’s Rafael to produce missile seekers and guidance electronics systems, said the JV deals were expected to be clinched in near future.

Responding to a query on the company developing any primary radar systems for the Indian Navy’s warships, the official said “BEL is partnering with DRDO and an international company in this regard” without divulging any other detail.

About BEL’s role in providing equipment for the India-Russia Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) programme, the official said, “BEL will certainly be a part of the JV programme. We are looking forward to produce radar warning receivers for the new stealth fighters.”

India has inked the deal with Russia to produce the advanced warplanes for its air force. The fifth-gen fighter are expected to be inducted in the IAF by 2017.

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Akash  BEL  Aero India  
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