BDL nodal agency for Akash missile project
Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has been chosen as the nodal agency to supply the Army version of the Akash missile system, India’s first indigenous tactical missile system, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The BDL has been given the orders for the supply of two regiments of Akash missile systems to the Army ahead of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which had bagged the order to supply two squadrons of the systems to the Air Force worth
Rs 1,221 crore.
The BEL, which is scheduled to supply the first unit of the same by March 2011 and the first squadron by June, is also awaiting orders for another six squadrons estimated to be close to Rs 4,000 crore.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, BEL Military Radar Strategic Business Unit-Project Akash Additional General Manager Nataraj Krishnappa said: “The order has gone to the BDL but we will still be supplying all the electronics and will also take responsibility of the integration process.”
He said the BDL will bear the cost of production, which will be paid in turn by the Ministry of Defence for the order. For the supplies by BEL and its work, the money will be paid by the BDL. The estimated cost of the project is over Rs 12,000 crore.
For the Air Force order, the BEL was selected as the nodal agency, i.e., given the order and the BDL had supplied the missiles to BEL for production. Now, the system will be such that the BDL will be the nodal agency and the BEL will supply electronics and do integration.
The Akash missile system is said to fill in the much-needed gap for the Indian armed forces. The system will be capable of striking eight multiple targets at the same time with more than 95 per cent of the functions automated.
It will be equipped with both surveillance and identification radars besides a three-dimension radar, all connected to the missiles. The data collected and processed by the radars will guide the missiles which the BEL claims to be free from external jamming.