A high-level defence delegation led by UAE Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi Al Falacy has shown interest in buying `Made in India’ Akash surface-to-air missile system.

Sources in the MoD confirmed to FE Online on Wednesday that “The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Tuesday made a presentation for the `Akash’ surface to air missile system to the visiting minister of UAE. During meetings with the DRDO, the UAE side expressed keenness on the indigenous missile system along with other platforms DRDO has to offer.”

The `Akash’ missile is designed by DRDO and produced by defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL), has an interception range of 25-km, which are meant to keep fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones from attacking critical installations. Packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously, the missile can carry a warhead of 60 kgs and can hit the target up to 30 Kms.

The UAE minister visited Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) and Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) at Bangalore today, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

After structural changes were made in the Indian Defence Exports Policy, as s reported by FE earlier, both India and Russia have agreed ‘in principle’ to export the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, BrahMos, to UAE. India and Russia have good relations with the UAE, and there is conflict of interest, hence there is not going to be any problem exporting the missile to that country.

However, “Leaders of the two sides have had discussions during various meetings, but nothing concrete has happened,” sources said.

BrahMos is a short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land and is a joint venture between Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and the DRDO.

According to a section of the media, the UAE government is possibly looking at the DRDO-developed Astra 70-kilometre range air- to-air missile too to be fitted on the Mirage fighter planes that it is operating.

The visiting minister had met with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Tuesday and reviewed defence cooperation between the two countries and discussed ways for future cooperation.

Since both countries have identified security, defence and space for deeper cooperation, the two ministers also discussed regional security, to further deepen collaborations on maritime security, including joint anti-piracy, training and exercises, cyber space and outer space, etc.