BHUBANESWAR: Months after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) raised doubts on the quality of Surface-to-Air Missile Akash, Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test fired two rounds of from a
defence base off the Odisha coast on Wednesday. The missiles were fired against electronic targets.
Defence sources said the complete Akash missile system including targets were operated by IAF personnel exploiting the overall capabilities of the system in different envelopes. The missiles were fired from the launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea.
"All the mission objectives have been met and the missile system had performed as expected. The entire flight of both the missiles was captured by electro-optical tracking systems. The flight path was smooth while its ceiling and speed were perfect," said a defence official.
This was the third successful test of the indigenously developed missile in the last two days. On Tuesday, a similar trial was conducted from the same test facility. While the hat-trick trials have demonstrated the missile's capabilities, IAF is planning more tests on Thursday.
Defence sources said two squadrons of Akash missile system developed by DRDO had been already inducted in to IAF and the system was in continuous production and induction.
Akash is India's first indigenously designed, developed and produced air defence system capable of engaging aerial threats upto a distance of 30 km. The multi target, multi directional, all weather air-defence system consisting of surveillance and tracking radars, control centres and ground support systems mounted
on high mobility vehicles is designed to enable integration with other air defence command and control networks through secured communication links.
The missile, which has a launch weight of 720 kg, a length of 5.8 metres and a diameter of 35 cm, can carry a pay load of 50 kg. It can fly at supersonic speed of around 2.5 Mach and can reach an altitude of 18 kms. The missile can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms.
The missile is crucial for India's air defence programme as it can be used to counter enemy aircrafts and