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:
- It is indigenously developed low weight, fire & forget Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM).
- It is a Surface to Air Missile (SAM).
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.