Two Akash missiles flying at supersonic speed destroyed fast-moving aerial targets over the Bay of Bengal on Friday. They were fired in quick succession from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, off the Odisha coast, on Friday.
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The Akash missiles were fired from mobile launchers and the test was a part of the post-induction validation trials by the Indian Air Force. The missile successfully hit two fast-moving bodies of the Pilotless Target Aircraft Lakshya. All the mission events, including the end-game warhead detonation in proximity mode, were successfully demonstrated.
The missiles were randomly selected from the production lot and launched in a gap of 10 minutes of each other. It flew at 2.5 Mach and successfully intercepted the targets that moved at 160 metres a second.
The first missile intercepted an in-bound target in a 23-km range after Lakshya reached an altitude of 2.5 km; the second was a “crossing target,” which was intercepted in a 17-km range and at an altitude of 2.5 km.
“All the mission objectives were met,” the sources said.
Except firing, every operation was automated, with the ground systems and the missiles having worked in unison. The flight control radar performed with high accuracy and consistent guidance.
Akash missile systems were developed by the DRDO as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme and has been fully inducted into the Indian Army and the Air Force. The missile is powered by a ramjet rock propulsion system and has a 25–30-km strike range. The missile is also supported by the Rajendra radar system, which can simultaneously track 64 targets.
The system can launch eight missiles simultaneously on four different targets. The Akash missile is highly manoeuvrable and is capable of zeroing in on any fighter aircraft, in both approach and receding modes. It can carry a 60-kg conventional warhead which will auto-explode on close proximity. Each air defence system comprises the missile, the launcher, the ground system and the radar.
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