The DRDO-developed air defence missile system was successfully test-fired by the Army and hit an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The Army on Wednesday fired a surface-to-air Akash missile, which intercepted a fast-moving, small unmanned aerial vehicle called Banshee at an altitude of 30 metres above the sea level.

The interception proved the missile’s capability against subsonic cruise missile, said officials from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which developed Akash. Wednesday’s launch was the last among the validation trials done by the Army on the missile’s production model.

A modern radar, which forms part of the entire Akash system, continuously tracked the low-flying target. Special techniques developed by the DRDO for overcoming the reflections of the target vehicle Banshee coming from the sea worked perfectly in the mission. With this flight trial, the Army had accomplished all the validation trials on the missile’s production model and the Akash system was being delivered for induction into the Army, a DRDO press release said.

‘Export potential’

Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and DRDO Director-General said: “While the indigenous development, production and induction of Akash is making a significant contribution to India’s self-reliance in air defence technologies, Akash also has export potential.”

G. Chandramouli, Project Director, Akash, supervised several flight trials of Akash by the Air Force and the Army in the past few weeks.

DRDO spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta said the mobile Akash air defence weapon systems was designed, developed and led to production by the DRDO for protecting country’s important assets from aerial attacks.

“It has completed all the development flight tests, user trials and the system is in production for the Army and the Air Force,” he said.

While Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad, is producing the missile for the Army, the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is the production agency for the Air Force. BEL and BDL were executing production orders for more than Rs.23,000 crore of the Akash missile system.

Mr. Gupta said the system worth Rs.3,500 crore, had already been delivered to the Army and the Air Force.

More In: National | News