India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired the domestically built medium-range anti-aircraft missile, Akash, from launch complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore, in Odisha.

Unnamed defence sources were quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that the missile targeted a toe body supported by Lakshya pilotless target aircraft (PTA), and flew a couple of minutes earlier from launch complex-II, at a definite altitude over the sea.

"The results are being analysed," the sources added, stating that the missile is scheduled to undergo additional trials in the next few days.

Developed by DRDO and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) as part of the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), the nuclear-capable Akash missile is an all-weather missile system capable of engaging aerial threats up to a distance of 25km.

The 5.78m-long missile features a launcher, control centre, multi-function fire control radar and supporting ground equipment, and can simultaneously track and attack several targets by using Rajendra, a DRDO-developed multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar.

Capable of reaching 2.5 Mach speed, the missile can also destroy manoeuvring targets, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, as well as other ballistic missiles launched from helicopters.

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Last test fired from the same location on 24 February of this year, the missile is already to enter into operational service with the Indian Air Force and Army.

Image: An Akash missile lifts off from Integrated Test Range, Odisha, India. Photo: courtesy of Frontier India Defense and Strategic News Service.

Defence Technology