African countries eye massive weapons purchases from India

New Delhi: In a major boost for the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative of the Indian government, India has offered to supply a host of indigenously manufactured weapons to several African countries.

According to the defence ministry, India has secured export orders for the first time for the indigenously developed Akash air defence missile systems.

However, the defence ministry has not yet disclosed the country which will purchase the Akash air defence missile system, prompting speculation that it may be either Sudan or Armenia.

This is the first time that the Akash air defence system will be exported.

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India made the pitch to offer a wide range of Indian-manufactured weapons to the African countries during the first-ever joint conference of the Indian and African army chiefs in Pune, which was attended by 31 delegates from the office of the Army chief and 10 army chiefs from Africa.

During the joint press conference, it was announced that India has offered to supply a whole range of Indian-made weapons to African countries.

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These include the Akash Air Defence System, Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher and the Arjun Main Battle Tank. This development comes even as many countries are now thinking of decreasing their dependence on Russia for their weapons requirements.

India is also increasing its line of credit to African countries to procure Indian-made weapons and also has offered deferred payments and lower interest rates from Indian banks with assured local and regional offices of Indian defence companies for procured weapons systems.

Indian-made ATAGS and MarG Artillery Guns were the subject of much interest from African countries at last year’s Defence expo that was held at Gujrat.

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Sources- Firstpos