Guided by state-of-the-art ground radar, two Akash surface-to-air missiles were simultaneously launched against two flying targets by the Indian Air Force personnel from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore District of Odisha, on Thursday.
Flying at supersonic speed, one of the missiles engaged and destroyed a moving unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at a range of 11 km, while the other missile’s warhead detonated near its moving target comprising para flares at a range of 24 km. The para flares were dropped by a fighter aircraft. The exercise of launching the two missiles simultaneously was carried out by IAF personnel as part of their user-training.
According to official sources, the UAV was destroyed in a direct hit by the missile which was equipped with a 55 kg warhead.
The missiles were randomly selected from the production lot and launched for the mission.
Akash is a medium range air defence system. Each system comprises the missile, the launcher, the ground system and the radar which has the capability to simultaneously track 64 targets. Aided by the ground radar, eight missiles could be launched simultaneously to engage and destroy four targets.
Akash missile has a strike range of 25-30 km and was developed as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. The system has already been inducted into the Air Force and Army.