New Delhi: In a major push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday approved the acquisition of two new regiments of the DRDO-made Akash air defence missiles, worth around Rs 9,000 crore, for the Indian Army. The missiles are planned to be deployed along borders with China and Pakistan.

“The defence acquisition council approved the procurement of two regiments of the Akash missile system under 'buy (Indian)' category from defence PSU BDL. The missile systems to be procured are the upgraded versions of the previously inducted Akash missiles and will include seeker technology,” a defence ministry spokesperson said. 

The upgraded missiles, which would be part of the third and fourth regiments of the Akash missile system in the Army, possess 360 degree coverage, she said. 

The Army already has two regiments of the missiles, which are used to provide aerial protection to vital assets and key landmarks of the nation. 

The Akash missiles have had a major success against its foreign rivals as recently a tender to buy short-range surface-to-air missile systems was scrapped by the defence ministry in favour of the indigenous weapon system. 

The Army would be utilising the Akash missiles for protection against incoming enemy aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles along the borders with China and Pakistan.