In a leap forward for India’s defence capabilities, DRDO successfully conducted a flight test of the New Generation AKASH (AKASH-NG) missile off the coast of Odisha.
The missile system, tested against a high-speed unmanned aerial target at low altitude, showcased its capabilities by intercepting and destroying the target. The successful validation of the complete weapon system marks an advancement in India’s air defence capabilities, opening the door for upcoming user trials.
The system, comprising the missile with an indigenously developed radio frequency seeker, launcher, multi-function radar, and command, control, and communication system, demonstrated performance. Various radars, telemetry, and electro-optical tracking systems deployed by ITR, Chandipur, further validated the system’s efficiency.
Over 2023-33, the Indian military is anticipated to invest a total of $13.2bn in procuring five Akash missile batteries, according to GlobalData’s “India Defense Market 2023-2028” report.
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India’s Ministry of Defence granted Bharat Electronics Ltd a turnkey contract valued at approximately Rs53.57bn ($752.89m) for supplying seven squadrons of Akash missile systems to the Indian Air Force in 2019. With plans to export the Akash weapon system internationally, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) serves as the prime production agency.
Witnessed by senior officials from DRDO, Indian Air Force (IAF), Bharat Dynamics Limited, and Bharat Electronics Limited, the successful flight test has paved the way for upcoming user trials. The AKASH-NG system is a missile capable of intercepting high-speed and agile aerial threats, bolstering India’s air defence capabilities.
India’s Minister of Defence, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, commended the achievement, acknowledging the collaborative efforts of DRDO, IAF, PSUs, and the industry. He emphasised that successfully developing the AKASH-NG system would significantly enhance the country’s air defence capabilities.
Secretary of the Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr Samir V Kamat, also congratulated the successful flight test teams, recognising the step forward in India’s defence technology.
Previous missile tests include India’s DRDO launching the Akash-NG missile from the Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha on January 25, 2021. Following this achievement, a second flight test on July 23, 2021, validated the operationality of the full weapon system.