The DRDO claimed yesterday that they have again successfully tested the Akash missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), in Chandipur, Orissa.
|Akash missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR)|
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The second test, which was conducted just two days after the first test on May 24, has been termed as successful by the Indian defence scientists. The second test was necessary in order to re-validate the operational efficiency and strike capability of the missile, which is used by both the Indian Army (IA) and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The test, which was conducted at 11:10 am yesterday, involved the intersection of an airborne target, most likely a Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA) at an altitude of few hundred meters above the sea. The missile uses the locally developed Rajendra passive phased array radar and is capable of engaging several airborne targets simultaneously. Indian defence scientists claim that Rajendra is capable of tracking as many as 64 targets concurrently. It can also guide up to 12 missiles to their targets at the same time.
The IAF is planning to induct 8 Akash squadrons in to it’s fleet, which will consist of 125 missiles each. Meanwhile, the Indian Army is likely to deploy the missiles in 2 Akash regiments, each having a total of 1,000 missiles. The Army is planning to replace the antiquated soviet build SA-6 missiles with Akash, if everything goes according to the plan. Apart from the IAF and IA, there are reports that the Malaysian Air Force is also in talks with the Indian officials for a possible missile purchase deal.
The Akash missile, which can carry a conventional high-explosive warhead of up to 60 kg, is having an effective operational range of 20 miles. Currently, it is manufactured by the government owned defence firms, the Bharat Electronics Limited, and the Bharat Dynamics Limited.
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