Context: A new generation of Akash surface-to-air missile was successfully flight-tested recently by the DRDO.

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 weapon system:

  • Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the IAF.
  • 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.
  • Range and Speed:
    • 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.
  • Missile type:

Related Facts:

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. 
  • Range:
    • It has an intercept range of 30 km. 
    • It can reach an altitude of 18 km. 
  • Speed:
    • Akash flies at supersonic speed, reaching around Mach 2.5. 
  • Technologies:
    • 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. 
  • Operation:
    • 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.