Successful Test – Fire Of New Generation Akash Missile, A Step Towards Indigenous S400 System
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested the latest version of Akash surface-to-air missile system. The test was conducted from a test range off the Odisha coast on Wednesday. The test was conducted at around 12:45 pm from a land-based platform.
The new version of the Akash missile (Akash-NG), as per Defence Ministry, can strike targets at a distance of around 60 km and fly at a speed of up to Mach 2.5. However sources have placed the actual range at around 100 km or at the least 80km +. The surveillance of incoming enemy missile in fact will begin when it is still around 150 km away.
“The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the new generation Akash Missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha on July 21. The flight trial was conducted at around 12:45 PM from a land-based platform with all weapon system elements such as multifunction radar, command, control and communication system and launcher participating in the deployment configuration,” said the MoD in a statement.
The new missile system has been developed by the DRDO’s with existing AKASH missile as the base. Several regiments of AKASH surface to air missile are fully deployed both by the IAF and the Indian Army.
The flight data on the missile confirmed the success of the test. DRDO deployed a number of monitoring mechanisms such as electro-optical tracking systems, radar and telemetry.
The flawless performance of the entire weapon system has been confirmed by complete flight data captured by these systems. During the test, the missile demonstrated high manoeuvrability required for neutralising fast and agile aerial threats.
“Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force,” it added.
The DRDO, the Indian Air Force and production agencies Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) was also congratulated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for the successful test-firing of the missile.
So with AKASH 1 and AKASH 2 should together provide layered area defence with Surveillance range staring from 150 km and strike range at 100 km. A battery should be able to provide an surveillance umbrella to say 100km by 100km and strike umbrella to 80km by 80km.
Now the DRDO must gear up for AKASH 3 with strike range of 200 km and a radar with Surveillance range of 300 km. The overall aim should be to field an indigenous system to augment and then replace the S400 System soon to be inducted for air defence of India.