India on May 26 again test-fired the indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile from the test range at Chandipur near Balasore.
“The user specific trial, which formed part of the country’s routine air defence exercises, was conducted from the ITR,” said a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official associated with the ‘Akash’ missile project.
To re-validate the technology and operational efficacy of the anti-aircraft missile, Defence forces conducted the trial with logistic support provided by the ITR.
They had test-fired Akash successfully from the same test range on May 24.
Akash, an anti-aircraft defence system, can simultaneously engage several targets with ‘Rajendra’ radar developed by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), a DRDO laboratory situated at Bangalore. Rajendra does the surveillance, tracks the target, acquires it and guides the missile towards it.
The development of Akash missile took place during 1990s under country’s integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP). After many trials, was inducted into armed forces in 2008. An air-force version of ‘Akash’ missile has also been developed by DRDO.
Rajendra is a multifunction radar, capable of tracking as many as 64 targets and controlling up to 12 missiles simultaneously.
Defence experts have compared Akash missile system with the American MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system.
They claim that like the MIM-104, the Akash is capable of neutralising aerial targets such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles.