Context: Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG).
More in the news:
- It was tested from an integrated test range off the Odisha coast in a boost to air defence capabilities.
- Separately, the DRDO also successfully flight-tested the Akash-NG weapon system, paving the way for its production for the Army.
About the Akash-NG missile:
- Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the IAF.
- Development and Production:
- The missile system has been developed by Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories.
- It is being produced by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
- Missile Type, Range and Speed:
- It is a Surface to Air Missile (SAM).
- The new variant of the Akash missile (Akash-NG) has a slightly better range compared to the original version that can strike targets at a distance of around 25-30 km.
- The new version of the Akash missile (Akash-NG) can strike targets at a distance of around 60 km and fly at a speed of up to Mach 2.5.
About Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM).
- It is an indigenously-developed anti-tank guided missile.
- Anti Tank guided missile is a medium or long-range missile whose primary purpose is to destroy tanks and other armoured vehicles.
- It is launched using a tripod designed for a maximum range of 2.5 km with a launch weight of less than 15 Kg
- It is a low weight, fire and forgets missile.
- It is equipped with a state-of-the-art Miniaturized Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics.
- India had started working on MPATGM back in 2005
- The first trial of the MPATGM was conducted on 15 September 2018, and the second on 16 September 2018.
- In 2019, the DRDO test-fired this missile for the first time on 13 March and the second test was conducted on 14 March in the Rajasthan desert.
- The test paves the way for the Army to have developed third-generation man-portable ATGM indigenously.
Akash Missile System:
- Akash (in Sanskrit sky) is a medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) developed as part of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) to achieve self-sufficiency in the area of surface-to-air missiles.
- It has an intercept range of 30 km.
- It can reach an altitude of 18 km.
- Akash flies at supersonic speed, reaching around Mach 2.5.
- A self-destruct device is also integrated.
- The entire Akash SAM system allows for attacking multiple targets.
- Target System:
- The missile is supported by multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar called the 'Rajendra' with a range of about 80 km in search, and 60 km in terms of engagement.
- The missile is completely guided by the Radar, without any active guidance of its own.
- This allows it greater capability against jamming as the aircraft self-protection jammer would have to work against the high-power Rajendra.
- The aircraft being attacked is not alerted by any terminal seeker on the Akash itself.
- The Akash system can be deployed by rail, road or air to neutralised targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.