Vietnam wants to buy Akash-NG air defence system from India

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Vietnam is seeking local production of 70 kilometers range Akash-NG missile with the Transfer of Technology from India to counter the growing threats from China.

During Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s current tour to Vietnam, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for mutual logistic assistance as well as a common vision statement for the India-Vietnam Defense Partnership in the years ahead.

With the help of India’s technology transfer, Vietnam hopes to produce the Akash-NG missile, which has a range of 70 kilometres.

Vietnam is willing to send a team to India to watch the next launch of the Akash-NG missile system, but they have been denied access to critical launch locations on India’s east coast since the Akash-NG is still undergoing testing.

Vietnam has been eyeing the development of Akash NG since 2021. Vietnam may be the first buyer to buy Akash NG. The production of this missile system is going to start from the year 2023. However, its export version will not be ready before 2025. Currently, Vietnam uses Russia’s S-300P air defense system. Apart from this, Vietnam has Israel’s spider system for the lower level.

According to the report of Asia Times, if Vietnam buys India’s Akash system, then it will not only boost India’s domestic defense industry but also strengthen India’s friendship with Vietnam. India will force China to focus on Southeast Asia instead of the Himalayas through this missile deal. There is speculation that Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has offered Akash missile system to Vietnam. However, this has not been confirmed by both the countries yet.

Difference between Akash and Akash NG
Difference between Akash and Akash NG

Vietnam and India have been in talks about the Akash system since 2017, as Vietnam was looking to replace its aging Soviet-era S-125/S-75 mid-tier SAMs. However, Vietnam declined India’s offer at the time, deciding that it needed a longer-range air defense system. And the latest Akash-NG with advanced featured and with a range of 70km is perfect for a small nation like Vietnam.

Vietnam is very much interested in Akash NG. Vietnam has found it better than Israeli missiles (Spyder). It delivers a great bang for the buck.  Akash NG can easily deliver the punch at 80 pc of the cost at a fraction of cost. Akash NG is a highly cost effective package.

About Akah-NG

It is a medium range surface-to-air Missile. It is a new variant of the Akash missile that can strike targets at a distance of around 70 km and fly at a speed of up to Mach 2.5.

Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force.

The missile is unique in the way that it can be launched from mobile platforms like battle tanks or wheeled trucks. It has nearly 90% kill probability.

The missile is supported by the indigenously developed radar called ‘Rajendra’. The missile is reportedly cheaper and more accurate than US’ Patriot missiles due to its solid-fuel technology and high-tech radars.

It can engage targets at a speed 2.5 times more than the speed of sound and can detect and destroy targets flying at low, medium and high altitudes.

Akash-NG will have an improved reaction time and higher level of protection against saturation attacks. The second stage use dual-pulse solid rocket motor which is lighter instead of air-breathing solid ramjet engine present in the earlier Akash and Akash-1S missiles to increase the overall range from the current 40 km (25 mi) to 70 km (43 mi) while also reducing the weight of the platform and the footprint of the launch platform, an active electronically scanned array Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and optical proximity fuze improve the effectiveness of the missile against targets with low radar cross-section.

Defence Research and Development Organisation successfully conducted the first test of the missile on 25 January 2021 from Launching Complex – III at the Integrated Test Range near Chandipur, Odisha at about 2:30 pm against an electronic target

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