BALASORE (ODISHA): Two more rounds of medium range nuclear capable surface-to-air missile Akash were successfully test fired from a defence test facility off the Odisha coast against two unmanned aerial vehicles demonstrating its ‘killing’ efficiency on Wednesday.
With the consecutive successful test firings of the weapon system by the army personnel, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) seemed to have sent a ‘signal’ to the Indian army, which was recently reluctant to procure the missile system citing its poor result on the field.
Sources said altogether six rounds of the missiles were fired from the launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea in last three days. The missiles successfully destroyed the targets coordinated by the user. The missiles were fired against Pilot less target aircraft (PTA) Lakshya, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Banshee and Para-barrel, two times each.
Terming that the missions were ‘fantastic’, Project Director of Akash G Chandramouli said ‘killing’ would sound more robust than ‘hitting’ the targets. “All the missiles actually killed the targets coordinated by the user and more importantly all the tests were conducted by the army jawans. The weapon system successfully demonstrated its killing efficiency in different conditions,” he said.
Speaking exclusively to ‘The New Indian Express’, he said for the first time in the history of missile programme, Akash missile has achieved such great success in consecutive days. It is one of the best missiles in its class available in the world and it has immense export potential.
“There were different missions in different altitudes and different ranges. Starting from approaching and receding to crossing at small range, high range, lower altitude and higher altitude, the missile had a wonderful demonstration,” he claimed.
Asked whether it was a ‘befitting reply’ to army’s accusation on the efficiency of the missile system and interest on Israeli systems, Chandramouli said there is some sect of people who always would like to go outside. “But our performance is far better than others. In fact it is one of the best world class weapons as of now,” he added.
More than 250 industries are engaged in production and supply of various subsystems/components with military/aerospace grade quality for Akash missile and ground systems, which have been developed by the DRDO.
The missile is capable of engaging aerial threats upto a distance of approximately 25 kms. The multi target, multi directional, all weather air-defence system consisting of surveillance and tracking radars, can fly at supersonic speed of around 2.5 Mach and reach a high altitude of 18 kms and as low as 30 meters.
A source from Hyderabad however informed that the British-made UAV Banshee reportedly outperformed the indigenous PTA Lakshya while providing battle field support to check technical parameters during the user trials.
“While once the Lakshya failed to perform during alignment with the missile system, another was successful. But Banshee proved its worth in both the trials and during alignment too. This time Banshee performed better than the Lakshya,” he claimed.