labels: Aerospace, Defence
Medium range surface to air missile, Akash, impresses Indian Air Force in test trialsnews
28 November 2007
Recent field trials of the indigenously developed surface-to-air missile, Akash, in the deserts of Rajasthan, appear to have impressed top officials of the Indian Air Force (IAF), according to sources in the country''''s premiere defence agency, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The tests were conducted over a weeklong period, in the testing ranges of Pokhran over the second week of November. Akash, a medium range missile, with a range of between 27-30 km has yet to inducted by the IAF, and has drawn intense scrutiny over its performance. The reports of satisfactory test firings, if true, would go a long way towards assuaging morale within DRDO, as the organisation has drawn intense flak over its performance in recent times, in particular over the performance of systems, such as the Akash. Now reports are appearing suggesting that IAF officials have been suitably impressed by the field trials of the missiles, quoting DRDO officials. In August this year, defence minister AK Antony had clarified in parliament that the IAF has not declined to induct the Akash missile. Development of Akash missile is part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), and the missile system was to be made ready for induction by the Indian Army and the Air Force by 2003. The Akash has a launch weight of 720 kg, a diameter of 35 cm and a length of 5.8 metres. It can fly at supersonic speed of around 2.5 Mach and can reach an altitude of 18 kms. The missile is supported by multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar called ''''Rajendra'''' with a range of about 60 km. The first test flight of the missile was conducted in 1990, and since then many development and field trials have taken place.

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Medium range surface to air missile, Akash, impresses Indian Air Force in test trials