Akash missile test-fires successfully
India on Saturday successfully test fired the indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile as part of a user trial by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-Sea near Balasore in Odisha.
"The sophisticated Akash missile was test-fired twice in quick succession from launch complex-3 of ITR at about 11.55 a.m. and 12 noon," defence sources said.
ITR director M K V Prasad said the whole exercise was carried out as part of a user trial by the Indian Air Force.
Each missile targeted a toe body supported by Pilot Less Target Aircraft (PTA) 'Lakshya', defence sources said.
Akash 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.
While the Air-force version has already been inducted, the Army version is in the final stage of induction into the armed forces, they said.
The missile has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kgs. It has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously, they said.
With the capability to neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles, defence experts compare Akash to the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system of USA.
The missile was last test fired from the same base on February 24, 2014.
(Posted on 26-04-2014)