What is the new generation Akash missile?
The new generation Akash missile, also known as AKASH-NG, is a state-of-the-art surface-to-air missile system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India. It is designed to intercept high-speed, agile aerial threats, such as fighter jets, drones, and cruise missiles. The missile has a range of about 100 km and can engage multiple targets simultaneously.
The AKASH-NG system consists of four components: the missile, the launcher, the radar, and the command and control system. The missile is equipped with an indigenously developed radio frequency seeker that can track and lock on to the target in all weather conditions. The launcher is a mobile platform that can be deployed on land or sea. The radar is a multi-function radar that can provide early warning, identification, tracking, and engagement of the target. The command and control system is a networked system that can communicate with other platforms and provide guidance to the missile.
How was the flight test conducted?
The flight test of the AKASH-NG system was conducted on Friday, January 12, 2024, at 10:30 AM from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha. The test was witnessed by senior officials from DRDO, Indian Air Force (IAF), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
The test involved firing a single AKASH-NG missile against a high-speed unmanned aerial target flying at a very low altitude. The target was successfully intercepted by the weapon system and destroyed. The test validated the functioning of the entire weapon system and its performance under various scenarios.
The data captured by various radars, telemetry, and electro-optical tracking systems deployed by ITR Chandipur was also used to assess the effectiveness of the system. The results showed that the AKASH-NG system demonstrated its capability to engage multiple targets in close proximity with high accuracy.
What are the benefits of this achievement?
The successful flight test of the AKASH-NG system has several benefits for India’s defence capabilities. Some of them are:
- It enhances India’s air defence posture against potential adversaries who may pose a threat to its sovereignty or territorial integrity.
- It improves India’s operational readiness and response time in case of an attack or emergency.
- It showcases India’s technological prowess and innovation in developing indigenous defence systems.
- It boosts India’s confidence and credibility in international forums where it participates in arms trade or joint exercises with other countries.
- It attracts potential orders from countries in Southeast Asia and Middle East who have shown interest in acquiring similar systems from India.
What are the future plans for this project?
The development of this project is part of India’s efforts to modernize its defence sector and achieve self-reliance in defence production. The project involves collaboration between DRDO, IAF, BDL, BEL, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), private sector companies, academic institutions, research organisations, industry associations, foreign partners, etc.
The project has already achieved several milestones since its inception in 2010. Some of them are:
- Development of an indigenously developed radio frequency seeker for improved accuracy
- Development of an indigenously developed launcher for mobility
- Development of an indigenously developed radar for enhanced situational awareness
- Development of an indigenously developed command and control system for seamless integration
- Development of various versions of Akash missiles with different ranges and features
- Development of various variants of Akash launchers with different payloads
- Development of various types of Akash radars with different modes
- Development of various types of Akash command and control systems with different protocols
The project is expected to continue its development phase until it reaches its final stage where it will be ready for user trials. The user trials will involve testing the system in realistic operational conditions under various scenarios such as day-night cycle variations, weather conditions, target characteristics, etc.
The project will also involve further testing, evaluation, and feedback from various stakeholders such as IAF, DRDO, IAF personnel, foreign experts, etc. to ensure that the system meets all the requirements and standards of quality, performance, reliability, safety, etc.
The project will also involve further integration and interoperability of the system with other platforms and systems such as fighter jets, drones, satellites, missiles, etc. to ensure that the system can work effectively as part of a larger networked air defence architecture.
India has successfully tested its new generation Akash missile on Friday at Chandipur off Odisha coast. This is a major achievement for India’s defence sector as it demonstrates its capability to intercept high-speed aerial threats with high accuracy. This also enhances India’s air defence posture against potential adversaries who may