Saturday, April 26, 2014

India successfully test fires indigenous Akash missile again

Hi-res image of today's Akash missile test-firing.
Photo: DRDO

SOURCE PTI BALASORE (Odisha): India on Saturday successfully conducted two rounds of trials of its indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile as part of a user trial by the air force from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur 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 am and 12 noon," defence sources said. 

Describing both the trials as 'fully successful', 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. 

"During the trial, each missile aimed at intercepting a toe body supported by a PTA flown a couple of minutes earlier from another launch complex, at a definite altitude over the sea," 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. 

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