India’s new surface-to-air missile, the Akash, successfully struck an airborne target towed from a remote control aircraft in late November. The weapon is designed to hit aircraft up to 25 km away with a 55 kg warhead. Reuters: India Test-Fires Akash Missile
February 15/2017: India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has claimed to be close to a deal to sell their short range surface-to-air Akash missile to Vietnam. The sale would be the first of its kind between the two countries, following a steadily growing defensive relationship that has seen New Delhi already help the Vietnamese military with training and patrol vessels, as well as the granting of a $500 million credit line in order to buy defense equipment. A further deepening of ties manifested in the missile sale is expected to draw criticism from China, currently locked in a territorial dispute with Hanoi in the South China Sea, as well as their own border dispute with India.
January 11/2017: Discussions are underway between the governments of India and Vietnam over the potential sale of India’s indigenous Akash air defense missile system. Hanoi is keen for negotiations to include a possible technology transfer, while New Delhi is leaning toward promoting an initial off-the-shelf purchase of the system prior to any discussions over technology transfer and joint production. Vietnam represents a growing market for Indian training and gear, with India already set to provide training to Vietnamese Su-30MKI fighter pilots, and they have already trained sailors on operating Kilo-class submarines.