BALASORE: A series of user trials of surface-to-air supersonic Akash missile system will be carried out from a defence test facility off the Odisha coast from Thursday. Reliable sources said, the tests will be conducted from launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, about 15 km from here. The indigenously developed missile air defence system has been produced by Bharat Electronics Ltd. “A couple of tests has been planned on Thursday and Friday. The tests assume significance as those would be first in the series after the induction of the missile in the armed forces - Army and Air Force,” said a defence official.
Akash is a mobile, multiple- target handling and medium range air defence missile developed under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). After years of rejection, allegedly for faults in the missile system, the Army had agreed to accept the modified version of the missile, which was formally inducted in the Army on May 5 last year. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had handed over the missile to the Air Force on July 10. Along with 13 DRDO laboratories, 19 public sector units, five ordinance factories, three national laboratories and six academic institutions, Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) successfully partnered with more than 265 private industries across the country to produce Akash.