India successfully test-fires surface-to-air missile Akash

06 December 2017

India on Tuesday successfully test-fired its state-of-the-art supersonic surface-to-air missile, Akash, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.

The SAM, with an indigenous radio frequency seeker, fired from the Launch Complex III at the ITR at 1338 hrs, hit the target - an UAV 'Banshee' - in a perfect strike, officials said.

"The radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast have tracked and monitored all the health parameters of the missile," according to an official statement.

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 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 system is designed to neutralise multiple aerial targets attacking from several directions simultaneously. The system is autonomous and its operation is fully automated. There is flexibility in deployment, sources said.

The first surface-to-air missile with indigenous seeker to be test-fired in India, the missile is being inducted into the Army as short range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM). With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of surface-to-air missile, defence sources said.

The launch operations were witnessed by director general (missiles), DRDO and scientific adviser to defence minister G Satheesh Reddy, director of DRDL MSR Prasad,  programme director G Chandra Mouli, ITR director BK Das  and other top DRDO scientists.

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