The Indian Army has carried out the final validation trial of the first off production models of the Akash supersonic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Balasore, Odisha, India.
During the trial, the domestically built medium-range anti-aircraft missile successfully intercepted the very small and fast-moving unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Banshee, at 30m altitude above sea level, confirming the system's capability against subsonic cruise missiles.
While the low flying target was continuously tracked throughout its course by the missile's advanced multi-function radar, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-built special algorithms / techniques for overcoming the multiple target reflections coming from the sea worked perfectly in the mission.
The successful trial delivers the surface-to-air missile for induction into the army.
Indian Defence Minister scientific advisor, Department of Defence R&D Secretary and DRDO director general Avinash Chander said: "While indigenous development, production and induction of Akash is making very significant contribution to India's self-reliance in air defence technologies, Akash also has great export potential."
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, and can destroy manoeuvring targets, such as UAVs, fighter aircraft, cruise missiles and other ballistic missiles launched from helicopters.
Capable of reaching 2.5 Mach speed, Akash was inducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2008, following modification of the army's version to meet its mobility and gradeability requirements.
Image: The Akash missile during a previous test launch from Integrated Test Range in Orissa. Photo: courtesy of Frontier India Defense and Strategic News Service.