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Updated January 12th, 2024 at 14:23 IST

DRDO Test-Fires Completely Indigenous Next-Gen Akash, Surface-to-Air Missile off Odisha Coast

Akash's test underscores DRDO's self-reliance in missile tech, ensuring threat response with precision even at low altitude ahead of it's slated deployment.

Digital Desk
DRDO successfully test fires completely indigenous Akash-NG Missile
DRDO successfully test fires completely indigenous Akash-NG Missile | Image:PIB
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New Delhi: The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) achieved another successful flight test of the new-generation Akash (Akash-NG) missile today, this time with complete indigenous systems, from its Radio Frequency seeker down to its launcher. The test, conducted at 10:30 AM from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha, targeted a high-speed unmanned aerial vehicle at a very low altitude. The weapon system effectively intercepted and destroyed the target during the flight test.

3 Highlights from DRDO's Akash-NG test

  • Indigenous breakthrough: Akash's successful test highlights DRDO's prowess, integrating complete Indian subcomponents of the missile, showcasing self-reliance in missile tech.
  • Precision at low altitude: Akash displayed precision, intercepting a high-speed UAV at very low altitude, ensuring effective threat response close to the ground.
  • Complete system validation: The test not only confirmed missile success but also validated the entire Akash weapon system, along with its indigenously made subcomponents, ensuring comprehensive readiness for deployment.

Visuals from the Akash-NG test

Holistic System Validation of Akash-NG

The test, as reports indicated, validated the entire weapon system, including all indigenous components of the missile—RF seeker, launcher, multi-function radar, and command, control, and communication system—all made in India. The system's performance was confirmed through data collected by various radars, telemetry, and electro-optical tracking systems deployed by ITR, Chandipur. Senior officials from DRDO, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), and the Indian Air Force (IAF) witnessed the successful test.

Following the test, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised the collaborative efforts of DRDO, IAF, public sector units (PSUs), and the industry, highlighting that the development of this system will significantly increase the country's air defence capabilities.

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First-in-World: Akash Destroys 4 Tangos in a Single Salvo

Adding to the intrigue, the Akash system has already showcased the unprecedented capabilities of the indigenous Akash missile system during Astrashakti 2023 at the Suryalanka Air Force Station on December 12. Demonstrating its firepower, a single Akash firing unit engaged four unmanned aerial targets simultaneously, displaying its precision and efficiency, marking a world-first.

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Manufactured by defence public sector units in collaboration with other industries, the Akash Weapon System has been effectively deployed by both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army for the past decade. The system was initially unveiled through a firing conducted from the unit ordered in September 2019, reinforcing the Indian Air Force's confidence in its capabilities and rejection of NASAMs, a US system with a similar role to Akash.

Delivery to Armenia and Growing Global Interest

Also, as per prior reports, amid India's aim to boost the export of indigenous military equipment, the Akash air defence missile system is taking the lead, gathering increased attention from various nations, including the Philippines, Brazil, and Egypt, as per media reports. This surge in interest follows a substantial arms deal with Armenia, amounting to over USD 600 million for the procurement of the advanced missile defence system.

According to defence officials, deliveries of the Akash missile system to Armenia are scheduled to commence within the next few months. Simultaneously, the system has garnered attention from several other countries, hinting at potential future agreements. "In the interim, numerous countries, including Brazil, Egypt, and the Philippines, have expressed interest in the Akash missile system," confirmed the defence officials.

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Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the Akash missile system has been actively in service for more than a decade. Its continuous evolution has resulted in multiple advanced versions being developed.

Future prospects and Global acclaim

As per ANI, this indigenous system has not only received international acclaim but has also secured orders from international clientele, including countries in the Middle East. Anticipated continuous enhancements and upgrades by DRDO scientists involved in the project are expected to attract more orders from regions such as South East and West Asia.

Additionally, aiming to further inspire and engage the younger generation in defence research and development, DRDO Chief Samir V Kamat inaugurated a replica of the Akash missile at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai.

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Published January 12th, 2024 at 14:14 IST

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