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India approves AoN to acquire Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile

India's Nirbhay cruise missile, displayed above at Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow, will be equipped with Small Turbofan Engines, enhanced radio frequency seekers, and other subsystems to transform it into the proposed Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile. (Janes/Rahul Udoshi )

India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, has accorded an Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to procurethe Long-Range Land Attack Cruise Missile (LRLACM) for the Indian Air Force.

The AoN is the sixth step in Indian defence procurements after identifying the project, approving it in principle, consulting the industry, carrying out a feasibility study of the project, and formulating Preliminary Services Qualitative Requirements (PSQRs) specifying essential and desirable parameters.

Under the ‘Make-I' category, following AoN, the development and procurement process consists of 14 extensive steps, beginning with an expression of interest through to the development of a prototype, multiple trials, and the contract award.

The LRLACM is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), which is situated in Bangalore.

The missile is a replacement for the Nirbhay missile and will be developed for all land, air, and marine formations, a DRDO official earlier told Janes.

The DRDO unveiled the LRLACM concept at India's Defexpo 2020. According to the DRDO, the nuclear-capable LRLACM would weigh one tonne and have a length and diameter of 6 m and 0.52 m respectively.

The missile is designed to have two tapering-chord fold-out wings with a span of 2.7 m, the DRDO said. The missile would be equipped with Small Turbofan Engines (STFEs), upgraded radio frequency (RF) seekers, and other subsystems.

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