New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully test-fired the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) manufactured ‘Akash Missiles’. The Akash Missiles were test-fired at Suryalanka test firing range in Andhra Pradesh during the Combat Guided Weapons Firing 2020 exercise to practice different engagement scenarios during conflicts to shoot down enemy planes. Several test trials of Akash missile have also been done in the past which were proved to be successful.
‘Akash Missiles’ is one of the most successful, indigenously made missiles inducted into the Indian Army and Air Force. Akash weapon system has been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and BDL is the manufacturer of the missiles.
BDL, along with DRDO is geared up for delivery of Akash Prime to Indian Army with Seeker and high altitude capability. This capability to meet the user requirements has been achieved in a short span of time with the design support of DRDO. The defence research organisation has been working on the Akash Prime missile system which will make it capable of engaging with targets at very high altitude locations too.
Akash Missile’s capabilities
Akash Missile has the capability to engage aerial threats up-to the maximum range of 25 km and up to an altitude of 18 km., operating at a speed range of 1.8 to 2.5 Mach. The Akash weapon system consisting of Akash Missile along with a complement of ground support equipment is capable of tracking 64 targets in the background and launch eight missiles against four targets simultaneously. The system is fully automatic with the quick response time from target detection to kill. The open system architecture ensures adaptability to existing and futuristic air defence environments. It has high immunity against active and passive jamming and has in-built safety features with IFF. The system has a secured mode of communication between combat elements and is self-sufficient in electrical power with in-built power sources.
The missile is used against aerial targets such as helicopters, fighter aircrafts, UAVs etc. The missile has been recently upgraded with a seeker which will facilitate to neutralize targets with lesser efforts than before. The upgraded version will be capable of engaging with targets at very high altitude locations too.
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India’s thrust towards achieving self-reliance in critical technologies in Defence gave birth to the nation’s ambitious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) during the late 80s, in which BDL was nominated as the ‘Prime Production Agency’. Akash is one of the missiles under IGMDP being manufactured by BDL.
The Akash weapon system has given a boost to the all-round capability enhancement and operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces to meet all the contemporary and emerging challenges of negating the enemy's air threat. BDL has supplied the missile to Indian Army and Indian Air Force and is expecting further orders from the services. The company is also exploring to offer Akash for export to foreign countries. BDL has already received export leads from some countries expressing interest in procuring the missile.
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