For the second day in a row, India on Wednesday successfully conducted trial of its indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile, which has a strike range of 25 km, from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Air Force, the agency said.
“The sophisticated Akash missile was test-fired from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur,” defence sources said. The launch was carried out at 11:42am, local time (10:12am, Moscow time). The missile hit the target - a surveillance drone.
The Akash missile is 5.8 metres long with the lift-off mass of 720 kg. Its warhead mass is 60 kg. It is launched from stationary and mobile platforms, intercepting targets, including drones, fighters and cruise missiles at a speed 2.5 times exceeding sound velocity.
The Akash anti-aircraft defesce system is developed by Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
India also intended to develop jointly with France a small-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM). However, after successful tests of the Akash missile, the Indian Air Force cancelled this program as inexpedient.