Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh is on three day Vietnam trip where India is planning to offer many of the indigenously developed weapons to the country. Vietnam already has been offered India’s Akash-NG air defense system in the past, at least one of the demonstrations was attended by the military delegation from Vietnam at a military exercise but the sale never went through since they wanted an air defense system with a much longer range.
Vietnam has been eyeing the Akash Next Generation air defense system that DRDO is presently developing that can take out targets as far as 70 to 80km and Vietnam has been inquiries about it of late.
Vietnam is seeking local production of the missile system in the country with the Transfer of technology coming from India. Akash-NG which was first tested in 2021, already has been tested thrice and Vietnam had kept an eye on the project even before it had commenced its developmental trials.
DRDO is planning to develop Army and Air Force versions and Vietnam is eager to send a delegation to India to witness the next launch of the missile system but since the missile is still carrying out experimental trials, they were denied access to sensitive launch sites on the east coast.
Akash-NG system is likely to be cleared for production in 2023 and Vietnam could be the first launch customer of the missile system if India agrees to the sale of the system but the customized variant for Vietnam’s requirements will not be ready until 2025 even if Akash NG is cleared for export.