India’s indigenous surface to air missile (SAM) Akash was successfully test fired from the integrated Test Rage at chandipur, about 15km from Balasore.
The missile has a strike range of 25km with a warhead of 60kgs, was test fired from a mobile launcher from launch comples-III of the ITR at about 1108 hours.
Defence sources said, “During the trial, the missile was aimed at intercepting a floating object supported by a pilotless target aircraft, flown from launch complex-II, at a definite altitude over the sea”.
Akash, an anti-aircraft defence system, can simultaneously engage several targets with Rajendra radar developed by the Electronics and Radar Development Establishment(LRDE), a Defence Research Development Organisation(DRDO) lab in Bangalore.
Rajendra is a ‘passive phased arra radar’. It is a multifunction radar, capable of tracking as many as 64 targets and controlling up to 12 missiles simultaneously. Rajendra does the surveillance, tracks the target, acquires it and guides the missile towards it.
“The user-specific trial, which formed part of the country’s routine air defence exercises, was successful,” said a DRDI official associated with the Akash missile project.
Defence experts have compared the Akash missile system with the American MIM-104 patriot SAM. They claim that similar to MIM-104, the Akash is capable of neutralising aerial targets such as UAV’s, fighter hets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles. But Akash is built under $20 million less than half the price of patriot which is built at $50-60 million each, proving Indian ingenuity once again.