For the second time in four days, supersonic surface-to-air missile, Akash intercepted and destroyed a fast moving target after it was test-fired by the Indian Army from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha, on Monday.
The trial was conducted as part of a series of flight tests being conducted in various engagement modes from the first of the Production Model System being produced to equip two regiments of the Indian Army. The missile hit the bull’s eye when it intercepted and destroyed a receding tow body of Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA), Lakshya at a distance of 19 km, in a tail chase mode.
A Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) press release said, Monday’s flight as well as the one conducted on Friday last when it destroyed the target in an approaching mode, fully met the mission objectives.
Scientific advisor to Defence Minister, Avinash Chander, said the successful trials show the continuing excellence of Indian weapon systems. He said the development and production of Akash weapon system, with the active participation of DRDO labs, public sector units, ordnance factories, national R & D labs, academic institutions and about 200 private industries, was yet another symbol of India’s strength in making indigenous weapon systems. He congratulated the production agencies, Indian Army and DRDO team.
According to G. Chandramouli, Project Director, Akash, who supervised the trial operations, the missile system performed as expected and reconfirmed its capability. He said a few more pre-induction trials were planned in the coming days.
Akash is India’s first indigenously designed, developed and produced air defence system and capable of engaging several air targets up to a distance of 25 km in a fully autonomous mode of operation. It has a range of 25 to 30 km and carries a fragmentation warhead which is triggered by proximity fuze. The good acceleration of the missile provides high manoeuvrability and capability against high performance targets such as tactical strike aircraft, bombers, high altitude reconnaissance airplanes and armed helicopters. The missile’s ramjet propulsion enables the missile to cover 25 km in 35 seconds.
The total production value of Akash air defence systems cleared for induction by Indian Army and the Indian Air Force is more than Rs.23,000 crore. The IAF placed order for eight squadrons and the Army for two regiments of Akash missile system. Two squadrons of equipments have already been produced and delivered to IAF and the initial production equipments for the Army were undergoing flight validation trials.
The production agencies for the system are Bharat Electronics Limited and Bharat Dynamics Limited.