Chandipur, December 6: India successfully test-fired indigenously-developed supersonic surface-to-air Akash missile as part of a user trial from the ITR at Chandipur. The missile was tested against the unmanned Banshee aircraft.
“This is the first Surface to Air Missile with indigenous seeker that has been test fired. With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of Surface to Air Missile,” DRDO said in a statement. This missile is being inducted into Army as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM).
The 5.8-meter long missile having a launch weight of 720 kilograms is capable of engaging aerial threats up to a distance of 30 kilometers. It can fly at supersonic speeds of around 2.5 Mach and can reach an altitude of 18 kilometers. Presently, two squadrons of Akash missile systems are operational in the Indian Air Force. The Indian defense ministry had allocated $2.8 billion for the procurement of two regiments of Akash missile systems for the Indian Army.
Akash has a strike range of about 25 km and carries a 55- kg fragmentation warhead that is triggered by proximity fuse. It is an all-weather area air defence weapon system for defending vulnerable areas against medium range air targets penetrating from low, medium and high altitudes.
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Akash missile system has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.
The launch operations were witnessed by Director General (Missiles) of DRDO and Scientific Adviser to the defence minister G Satheesh Reddy and other senior officials of the DRDO. Reddy congratulated all the DRDO scientists and Armed Forces for the successful test firing of Akash, the statement said.