New Delhi: In a significant achievement for India's indigenous weapon development programme, the first batch of the home-grown 'Akash' surface-to-air missile system will be handed over to the Air Force on Saturday by Defence Minister A K Antony.

The Defence Minister will also hand over a newly-developed Advanced Light Weight Torpedo (TAL) to the Navy in Hyderabad, Defence Ministry spokesperson said here.

"Marking a major milestone in the development of indigenous technology in the defence sector, Antony will hand over the first batch of the indigenous Akash to the IAF. The weapon system is considered as the Indian 'Patriot', he said.

The 'Patriot' is an American missile system which was used successfully in neutralising the Iraqi 'Skud' missiles during the first Gulf War in the 90s.

The Akash missile was indigenously developed by DRDO as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and is an all-weather, medium-range, Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system.

The missile is expected to be the mainstay of the air defence batteries of the Indian armed forces in next few decades.

It can destroy manoeuvring targets such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), fighter aircraft, cruise missiles and missiles launched from helicopters. I

The versatile missile system has been produced by Defence PSU Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).

The Light Weight Torpedo has been indigenously developed by the National Science and Technology Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam.

It can be launched both from ships and helicopters and can hunt submarines sailing deep in the sea.