Terming as “satisfactory” the performance of Akash missile that has been inducted into the Indian Army and Air Force, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), today said the development of the weapon system’s next generation is currently underway.
“As far as Akash is concerned, the system which has now been inducted into the Indian Army and Air Force is to a large extent satisfactory. In fact, further induction is going to happen in the Air force,” BEL CMD S K Sharma told reporters here.
“Future improvement of the project is on, and it is being done along with the DRDO . Certain new generation radars and indigenous missile seekers are introduced for Akash system. There are various such improvements, but it is still in the development phase,” he added.
Akash missile system is an indigenously developed supersonic short range surface-to-air missile system with the capability to engage a wide variety of aerial threats like aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles up to a maximum range of 25 km and up to an altitude of 20 km.
Stating that the range will be marginally higher, Sharma said, “I will not be able to share specific parameters at this stage, but definitely it will be an improved version of the existing (one).”
On unmanned aerial vehicles, Sharma said BEL, a public sector undertaking, is focusing on UAV payloads and not as such on the platform.
“We are already into electronic warfare system, radars, surveillance devices and so on for UAVs, that will be our focus. We are currently working on two-three programmes, including one with the DRDO labs where we will provide electronic pay loads for UAVs and variants of that,” he said.
BEL also was working with ISRO on various projects like supply of specialised transponders and Doppler weather radars.
“In future we will be producing specialised solar cells- space grade solar cells. We are in talks with ISRO and a manufacturing plant is likely to be set up at BEL,” Sharma said.