India test fires new variant of Akash air defence missile

29 May 2019 (Last Updated July 20th, 2020 12:35)

India has test-fired a medium-range surface to air missile Akash MK1S from the integrated test range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

India test fires new variant of Akash air defence missile
A flight test of Akash surface to air missile system was carried out at ITR Chandipur. Credit: India Ministry of Defence.

India has test-fired a medium-range surface to air missile Akash MK1S from the integrated test range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

The test firing was performed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and follows a test that was completed on 25 May.

Akash MK1S is an advanced version of the existing Akash air defence missile and is equipped with a locally developed seeker. It is capable of neutralising advanced aerial targets such as fighter jets, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

The Akash weapon system features command and active terminal seeker guidance.

The Indian Ministry of Defence stated that the missile’s seeker and guidance performance were demonstrated in both missions.

Developed by DRDO, the missile can strike targets with high precision.

Akash Mk1S was developed as part of the MoD’s Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) in addition to Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles, reported ANI.

Capable of multi-target engagement, the Akash missile can strike targets up to a range of around 25km and altitude of 18,000m.

DRDO is currently developing several versions of the missile system, including Akash MK1 and MK2. These variants are expected to have improved accuracy and greater ranges.

“Developed by DRDO, the missile can strike targets with high precision.”

The Akash missile system joined the Indian Army in May 2015 and the airforce in July 2015.

India is focusing on boosting its air defence capabilities. The country reached a deal with Russia to procure the S-400 air defence system.

In addition, a Unit of Eastern Command, Indian Army test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on 22 May from Car Nicobar Islands.

Furthermore, DRDO flight tested a 500kg class inertial guided bomb from a Su-30 MKI combat aircraft. The guided bomb is said to have passed the test, reaching the target with high precision.