The Indian Air Force (IAF) has conducted yet another launch of the Akash nuclear capable supersonic missile from the launch complex III of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odhisa, India.

Undertaken as part of a routine user trial, the test featured an air force version of Akash, and successfully met its objectives.

Akash mission director G Chandramouli was quoted by The Hindu as saying the missile flew at a supersonic speed over a distance of 14km prior to destroying a target at a low-altitude of 1.2km.

Called para flare, the target was reportedly dropped by a MiG-27 fighter aircraft belonging to the air force.

ITR director M V K V Prasad told Press Trust of India that the trial of was fully successful, saying: "Some more similar trials of the missile will be conducted in this week."

The trial comes on the same day as the Pakistani military conducted a successful test launch of the upgraded version of its Shaheen I intermediate range ballistic missile.

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Carried out from an undisclosed location with impact point in Arabian Sea, the trial was aimed at re-validating various design and technical parameters of Shaheen IA weapon system.

"The trial comes on the same day as the Pakistani military conducted a successful test launch of the upgraded version of its Shaheen I intermediate range ballistic missile."

Shaheen1A missile can carry nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 900km, whereas Akash is an all-weather surface-to-air missile system capable of engaging aerial threats up to a distance of 25km.

Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation and Bharat Electronics Limited as part of the integrated guided missile development programme, Akash has already entered into IAF’s operational service, and is awaiting induction into the Indian Army.

Since last week, both Indian and Pakistan have conducted a series of missile launches to evaluate the performance of the domestically built weapons systems.

While India test-fired Dhanush and Prithvi-II ballistic missiles from test ranges in the state of Odhisa, the Pakistani Army conducted operational launch of Shaheen-II intermediate range ballistic missile from an undisclosed location.

Image: An Air Force version of Akash nuclear-capable missile being launched. Photo: courtesy of Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Defence Technology