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India proposes massive weapons sales to African countries.

| 2023

In a major boost for the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the Indian government, India has offered to supply a host of indigenously manufactured weapons to several African countries, Ajeyo Basu reports in FirstPost. According to the Defence Ministry, India has secured export orders for the first time for the indigenously developed Akash air defence missile systems but the purchasing country is not disclosed. However, it may be Sudan.
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Akash air defense missiles pass through the Rajpath during the 58th Republic Day Parade 2007 in New Delhi (Picture source: Indian MoD)

India offered a wide range of Indian-manufactured weapons to African countries during the first-ever joint conference of the Indian and African army chiefs in Pune, which was attended by 31 delegates from the office of the Army chief and 10 army chiefs from Africa, Ajeyo Basu reports. The weapons offered include the Akash Air Defence System, Pinaka multiple-launch rocket system and the Arjun Main Battle Tank. This development comes even as many countries are now thinking of decreasing their dependence on Russia for their weapons requirements.

India is also increasing its line of credit to African countries to procure Indian-made weapons and also has offered deferred payments and lower interest rates from Indian banks with assured local and regional offices of Indian defence companies for procured weapons systems, , Ajeyo Basu reports.

Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). Surveillance and Fire control radar, tactical control and command center and missile launcher are developed by Bharat Electronics (BEL), Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Larsen & Toubro. The Akash missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km (19 mi) away. It has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles. It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

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 Akash, like the Russian 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful), utilizes an integrated ramjet-rocket propulsion system, which, after initial rocket motor burnout, provides sustained thrust for the missile throughout its flight until interception. The missile has a 60 kg (130 lb) high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead with a proximity fuse. The Akash system is fully mobile and capable of protecting a moving convoy of vehicles. The launch platform has been integrated with both wheeled and tracked vehicles. While the Akash system has primarily been designed as an air defence SAM, it also has been tested in a missile defense role. The system provides air defence missile coverage for an area of 2,000 km2 (770 sq mi).

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India is proposing its Arjun MBT (foreground) to African countries. No mention is made of its locally-made MTU-72 bridge layer (background) (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Defense News April 2023

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