Successful ten-day long Akash missile tests pave way for its production

December 21st, 2007 - 7:49 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): With Friday’s successful test firing of Akash missile at Chandipur-on -sea, the 30-km range surface-to-air missile is now ready for production in the country.
The missile, which has been developed and customised uniquely for the Army and the Air Force, is now ready for induction into the Air Force, which had earlier expressed dissatisfaction with it.
However, with today’s test during which the missile destroyed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flying in a simulated air attack condition, speculations about its non-induction into the IAF has been put to rest. “This is the grand finale of the ten days users campaign meticulously planned by the Indian Air Force,” a statement issued by Defence Ministry said. Officials from the Indian Air Force were also present during the entire ten-day long tests. They witnessed five user trials, which were carried out by a team of 300 members and representatives from public sector units like the BDL and the BEL.
Development of Akash missile is a part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), and the missile system was expected to be inducted by the Indian Army and the Air Force by 2003.
Four stages of tests were carried out to evaluate the missile. First of these were the validation and functional evaluation tests of the entire weapon system which were carried out in Kolar near Bangalore.
This was followed by operation and mobility trials in Pokhran ranges in the second week of November and the Electronic Counter- Counter- Measure (ECCM) evaluation tests at Gwalior by Indian Air Force against various types of electronic targets and counter measures.
The final phase of user evaluation as part of user trials was done in Chandipur Integrated Test Range facility near Balasore in Orissa.
Dr Panyam, Project Director, who conceptualised Akash and is now the Chief Controller at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was present during these trials.
As on July 31, 2007, an amount of Rs. 492.41 crore (5 billion approximately) has already been spent on development of Akash, which has a launch weight of 720 kg, a diameter of 35 cm and a length of 5.8 metres.
It can fly at supersonic speed of around 2.5 Mach and can reach an altitude of 18 kms.
The missile is supported by multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar called ‘Rajendra’ that has a range of about 60 km.
The first test flight of the missile was conducted in 1990, and since then many development and field trials have taken place. (ANI)

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