Misleading China's Focus on Himalayas, India Plans to Sell Akash NG Air Defense Missile to Vietnam

Misleading China's Focus on Himalayas, India Plans to Sell Akash NG Air Defense Missile to Vietnam
Government Approves Export Of Indigenous Missile 'Akash NG'

International Military - India is a country that is on the rise in its defense industry. Indai is known to be seeking to sell Akash surface-to-air missiles to Vietnam. This effort has two objectives, namely to improve the image of its local defense industry as well as strengthen its partnership with Vietnam.

India's defense minister visited Vietnam last week and offered them a number of weapon options, one of which was the Akash surface-to-air missile. The Akash is a short-range surface-to-air missile that has a range of 25 kilometers to protect area forces from air attacks, citing Asia Times.

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In fact, Vietnam and India have been in talks about the Akash system since 2017, as the Southeast Asian nation was looking to increase its survivability at the time. But unfortunately, Vietnam rejected Akash because they needed more long-range air defense systems.

Since the birth of the Akash NG (Next Generation) which has a range of 70 to 80 km, Vietnam has become interested in owning it. Vietnam has been watching the development of this Akash NG since 2021, and they have the potential to be the first customer of this Indian-made missile defense system.

With the presence of Akash NG, Vietnam can complement its defense force which is currently filled with the long-range S-300P and lower-tier SPYDER. The S-300P itself is an air defense system that can hit targets at different distances depending on the type of missile it uses.

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Quoted from Asia Times, the 5V55K missile has a range of 47 km, the 5V55R missile has a range of 75 km and finally the 48N6 missile with a range of 150 km, the Jakarta Zone reported.

Keep China away from the Himalayas

Apart from selling its weapons to Vietnam, India is also strengthening other countries in Southeast Asia such as the Philippines and Indonesia by selling BrahMos missiles. Looking at it from a broader perspective, India's goal of 'investing' in Southeast Asia is to create a counterbalance against China in the Himalayas, where it is known that these two great powers are experiencing protracted clashes, quoted from the old Asia Times.

The war in Ukraine that is currently happening has distracted the US and Europe. Thus providing space for China to continue its opportunity to suppress territorial claims in the Himalayas, the South China Sea and even Taiwan.

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This year, China announced a new border law to 'fix' its claims in the Himalayan region disputed with India. And at the same time, China has also said that it plans to use more sophisticated weapons there.

This statement is a form of provocation that has forced India to deploy the S-400 defense system along the Himalayan border. And by 'filling' Southeast Asia with its weapons, India hopes to create a new threat to China. Namely to shift China's focus and force them to divert military resources away from the Himalayas.

Akash NG Air Defense Missile

It is a medium-range surface-to-air missile, capable of striking targets up to 70-80 km away at speeds of up to Mach 2.5. Quoted from Defense View, it is said that this Akash NG is proven to multiply the strength for the Indian Air Force's air defense capabilities.

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Very flexible, because the Akash NG can be launched from a battle tank or continuously on wheels and the success percentage is almost 90 percent. This is not impossible, because the Akash NG is supported by an advanced locally made radar which they named Rajendra.

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