The missile test that was conducted on Saturday
According to a Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) press release, “two Akash missiles from the production lot of the Air Force version of Akash missile system were test fired in two separated tests in modes on Saturday the 26th April 2014, successfully intercepting the fast moving incoming and receding maneuvering targets respectively, towed by Lakshya pilot less target aircraft.”
Akash Project Director, G Chandramouli, stated that all the stated mission objectives have been met and the missile system has performed as expected.
He said, “A path has been created for continuous production of sophisticated surface to air missile systems in the country through this programme.”
The IAF intends to buy at least eight squadrons of Akash missile systems. Following that lead, the Indian Army to has placed an order for two Akash regiments. These orders add up to Rs 23,000 crore, (US $3.8 billion), with systems worth 3,500 crore ($577 million) having already been delivered.
Two Akash missile squadrons have already been inducted into the IAF. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bangalore is prime contractor for building eight Akash missile squadrons for Indian Air Force (IAF). Meanwhile, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad is the prime contractor for building two Akash missile regiments for the army. For both these versions, the missiles themselves are built by BDL, while radar and electronics are produced by BEL.
The 3-Dimensional Central Acquisition Radar (3D-CAR), which is the heart of the Akash missile system, is in continuous production and is being inducted into all the three Services.
The Akash is a mobile, multi-directional, multi-target, point/area defence system that can simultaneously engage multiple air targets in a fully autonomous mode of operation. The hardware and software integration of various weapon system elements permits automated management of air defence functions such as programmable surveillance, target detection, target acquisition, tracking, identification, threat evaluation, prioritization, assignment and engagement.
The Akash system can be integrated with the overall air defence command and control networks through secure communication links. The system is also provided with advanced ECCM features.
The modular, mobile Akash system is mounted either in wheeled trucks or trailers. Its multi-function phased array radar has significant resistance to active and passive jamming. The DRDO says, “All air defence functions such as classification, threat evaluation, prioritization and missile launch are automated, by virtue of usage of state of the art computation platforms and softwares. The system is configurable to adapt to future requirement.”
The DRDO claims, “The weapon system is cost effective relative to equivalent systems in the global market.”
Thirteen DRDO labs, nineteen Public Sector Units (PSUs), five Ordnance Factories (OFs) and more than 200 small, medium, and few large scale private industries have participated in the development and production of the Akash missile system.