Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed a contract worth approximately $67m (Rs4.9bn) to produce and deliver Akash missiles to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Akash is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system built by India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

It is being built under two versions for the IAF and the Indian Army.

The missile is being manufactured under the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP), which also includes the development of Nag, Agni, Trishul and Prithvi missiles.

BDL serves as the prime production agency for projects under IGMDP programme.

With the latest contract signed for the supply of Akash to the IAF, the order book position of the company now stands at about $1.16bn (Rs86.83bn).

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Akash weapon system has already received approval for export. The company is also looking at options to export the missile to foreign countries.

BDL said: “The company has bagged new orders worth about $375.81m (Rs28.03bn) (including taxes) during the FY 2020-21, which includes anti-tank guided missiles order worth about $244.01m (Rs18.2bn) crore and surface to air missiles order worth about $106.32m (Rs7.93bn) crore.

“The company is also aiming to expand its footprints in the international market by offering Air to air missiles, anti-tank guided missiles, underwater weapons and countermeasure systems in addition to Akash missiles to friendly countries.”

The Indian Armed Forces has deployed Akash missile on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.

In December last year, the IAF test-fired around ten Akash missiles at the Suryalanka test range in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.