Indian Air Force formally inducts Akash air defence missile

The Indian Air Force (IAF) today formally inducted the indigenously designed, developed and produced Akash air defence missile system. The missile was formally handed over by defence minister Manohar Parrikar at a ceremony at Air Force Station Gwalior.

Akash is the first made-in-India missile system and is a hallmark of sustained and focused efforts by DRDO, BEL, private sector and more importantly the IAF.

The handing over ceremony was marked by a spectacular display of a drill by the operating crew of Akash Pioneers, the first unit in the IAF to induct this system.

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, who formally received the 'key' of the Akash system from Parrikar said that a total of 27 missiles had been fired after inking of the contract, to ascertain the serviceability of the system in various conditions and a high success rate had been achieved. He also said that plans were afoot in the IAF for procurement of additional Akash systems.

Akash is a potent supersonic mobile multi-directional, multi-target point/ area air defence system that can simultaneously engage multiple air targets using sophisticated multi-function phased array radars. The advanced ECCM (Electronic Counter Counter Measures) features provide secure communication links with other air defence command and control networks to handle the counter electronic warfare scenario.

Indigenous development of Akash system has given impetus to the defence industrial base of the country and generated business of more than Rs20,000 crore.

Akash is the outcome of successful partnership between DRDL, the nodal lab in DRDO, along with 13 other DRDO labs, 19 public sector units, 5 ordinance factories, 3 national laboratories, 6 academic institutions and more than 265 private industries across the country.