India on 21 February 2014 successfully test-fired indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash Missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) launch complex-3 at Chandipur in Odisha coast.
The missile that was launched targeted a floating object that was supported by Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA) Lakshya. The intercepting floating object PTA Lakshya aircraft was flown from launch complex-2 at a definite altitude over the sea.
Trial session of Akash was conducted last time on 6 June 2012 from the same base and it is possible that some more trials will be conducted within next couple of days.
About Akash Missile
The Akash (sky) is an all-weather medium-range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system developed in India. It provides multidirectional and multi-target area defence. The missile system was indigenously developed as part of the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP). In operation from 1983 to 2007, the programme developed a range of missiles, including the Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles and the Prithvi ballistic missile.
• The strike range of Akash is 30 Kilometer and it has the capability of targeting a aircraft in the range
• It can carry warhead of 50 kilogram and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously. Each Akash battery includes four 3D passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radars and four self-propelled launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interconnected. It also has battery level radar known as the Rajendra radar and a battery control centre. It can track and attack multiple targets concurrently. A self-destructive device is also integrated into the missile.
• It also has the capability of to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to surface missiles
• Experts of defence compare Akash with the American MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system.
Features of the mid-range surface-to-air missile system
The system features a launcher, a missile, a control centre, an integral mission guidance system, a multifunctional fire control radar, a system arming and explosion mechanism, a digital autopilot, C4I (command, control communication and intelligence) centres and supporting ground equipment.
The Group Control Centre (GCC) acts as command and control headquarters for the SAM system.
What: test-fired Akash Missile
When: 21 February 2014