India test fires surface-to-air Akash missiles

India on Thursday test fired its indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile, as part of a user trial from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur.

Akash missile

"Three rounds of test were carried out by IAF personnel aiming at para-barrel targets," said an official. The missiles, with a strike range of 25 km and capability to carry warhead of 60 kg, were test fired from 11 am to 2 pm from the launch complex-3 of the ITR, he said.

Akash, which aimed at a para-barrel target during the trial, is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

Akash is powered by Ramjet-rocket propulsion system which renders thrust for the missile to intercept the target at supersonic speed without any retardation. It can fly at supersonic speed ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5 and can engage aerial targets up to a range of approximately 25 km.

The missile was formally inducted into the Indian Air Force in July 2015.

Unlike the American MIM-104 Patriot, the surface-to-air missile system, Akash, has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles.

The Akash (sky) is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system being built by DRDO under the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP). The programme also involved the development of the Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles, as well as the Prithvi ballistic missile.