New Delhi: In a major boost to 'Make in India' in the defence sector, the Indian Army has sent proposals worth around Rs 14,000 crore to acquire two regiments of the Akash-S air defence missile system and 25 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs).
The proposal is with the Defence Ministry, and a decision on the approval is expected soon at a high-level meeting to be chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, government sources told ANI.
The Akash-S missiles are a new variant of the Akash missile system with a new indigenous seeker, which helps in improving the accuracy in taking down enemy aircraft and cruise missiles at distances up to 25-30 km, they said.
The missiles can perform in extreme cold weather conditions in Ladakh and would meet all the requirements of the Indian Army in mountainous and other regions along the boundaries with China and Pakistan.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-developed missile system is already in service with the forces, and more upgraded versions are planned to be inducted into the services in the coming days.
The DRDO has also recently tested the Akash-New Generation variant of the Akash missile systems, which allows the troops to use it for longer range intersection of enemy targets and capability to operate at very high altitude locations along the Northern Borders.
The force is also looking at acquiring 25 ALH Dhruv Mark 3 helicopters for its aviation squadrons.
The Indian Army has been very supportive of the indigenous defence manufacturing capability and has supported the positive list of indigenisation by placing important weapons systems such as artillery guns in the import ban list.
The Army is the largest operator of the ALH Dhruv helicopters in the country and has also helped in bringing in improvements in the choppers produced by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.