New Delhi: Soon after a successful 10-day user trial phase, which concluded just last week, the Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) medium range surface to air missile, Akash, will ''soon'' be inducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal FH Major has announced that the IAF, though it is still awaiting reports of the field trials conducted recently, will induct at least one squadron of the missile.
According to reports, one squadron of these missiles would likely consist of 16 batteries that would be capable of targeting incoming aircraft and missiles, up to a range of approximately 30 kilometres.
ACM Major, however, refused to comment about the total quantum of orders that the force was likely to place.
''Things have gone on well. The user trials have concluded and we are awaiting the report. After this we will initiate the process of inducting one squadron of the missile system,'' Major said on the sidelines of a function at the Air Force Museum here where he installed a 'time capsule' containing historical record of the recently concluded Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the force.
The missile, which has been under development for a long time, has been hit by a series of delays and technical glitches forcing the defence services to rethink elements of their air defence modernisation plan.
ACM Major had said earlier this year that the IAF had placed an order for the Spyder missile system to plug crucial gaps in its air defence capabilities due to the delay in the Akash programme.
Earlier, he inaugurated the Platinum Jubilee 'time capsule' that will be opened in 2032 - the centenary year of the force. The capsule contains photographs, newspaper clippings and historical records of special events that occurred in the Platinum year of the Air Force.
It also contains digital copies of IAF's activities covering the past 15 years. Two similar capsules - installed in 1982 and 1992 - will also be opened in 2032 by the Air Force.