The Indian Army has successfully test launched the Akash surface-to-air missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha, India.
The launch forms part of a series of trials being conducted in varied engagement modes from the first production model system produced to equip two regiments of the Indian Army.
During the trial, the missile successfully engaged and destroyed a receding flying target, a tow body supported by a Lakshya pilotless aircraft at a distance of 19km.
Indian Department of Defence R&D secretary and Defence Minister scientific advisor Avinash Chander said that the successful trial demonstrates the continuing excellence of Indian weapon systems.
"Development and production of the Akash weapon system with the active participation of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) labs, public sector units (PSUs), ordinance factories, national R&D laboratories, academic Institutions and about 200 private industries is yet another symbol of India’s strength in making indigenous weapon systems", Chander added.
Akash was successfully test fired from the same test range on 21 February, and is scheduled to undergo additional trials in different engagement modes in the future. It has already been inducted into the Indian armed forces.
Developed by the DRDO and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) as part of the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), the nuclear-capable Akash missile is an all-weather missile system capable of engaging aerial threats up to a distance of 25km.
The 5.78m-long missile features a launcher, control centre, multi-function fire control radar and supporting ground equipment. It can simultaneously track and attack several targets by using Rajendra, a DRDO-developed multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar. In addition, the missile reaches 2.5 mach speed and can destroy manoeuvring targets, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, as well as other ballistic missiles launched from helicopters.
Image: The Akash nuclear capable missile being launched from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, Odisha, India. Photo: DRDO.