Two Akash missiles from the production lot of the Air Force version of Akash missile system were test fired in two separated tests in modes on Saturday the 26th April 2014, successfully intercepting the fast moving incoming and receding maneuvering targets respectively, towed by Lakshya pilot less target aircraft. The complete Akash missile system including target system were operated by Indian Air Force personnel exploiting the overall capabilities of system in different envelops. Two Squadrons of Akash missile system developed by DRDO have been already inducted in to IAF and the system is in continuous production and induction. Senior IAF dignitaries alongwith Shri S Som, Director DRDL, Shri S Ravind, Director LRDE, Shri MVKV Prasad, Director ITR witnessed the firing from Chandipur. Shri Avinash Chander Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri has congratulated all the teams from DRDO, Production agencies, Industry Partners and Indian Air Force for the excellent coordinated demonstrations.
Project Director, Shri G Chandramouli stated that all the stated mission objectives have been met and the missile system has performed as expected. It is a notable achievement that the entire equipment of sophisticated radars, control centers, launchers & ground support systems for Indian Air Force have been realized and produced in less than two years indicating the integrated capability of DRDO, DDP, Inspection agency MSQAA and Indian Industry. A path has been created for continuous production of sophisticated surface to air missile systems in the country through this programme. He sincerely thanked all the engineers/scientists/technicians who worked for this remarkable challenge set by the services and could demonstrate the performance of the system on production variants too.
IAF placed had order for Eight Squadrons of Akash missile system. Later Indian Army placed an order for Two Regiments of Akash missile system. The total production orders placed by Services (IAF and Indian Army) for Akash missile system approximately amounts to Rs 23,000 Cr. Already missile system worth Rs 3500 Cr were delivered to the Services. In addition, 3D-Central acquisition radar (3D-CARs) which is an offshoot from Akash missile system also is in continuous production and induction to all the three Services.
Akash is a mobile multi-directional, multi-target point / area defence system which can simultaneously engage several air targets in a fully autonomous mode of operation. The hardware and software integration of various weapon system elements permits automated management of air defence functions such as programmable surveillance, target detection, target acquisition, tracking, identification, threat evaluation, prioritization, assignment and engagement. All the Radars, Command control centers, launchers are integrated to achieve these functionalities. The system is designed to enable integration with other air defence command and control networks through secure communication links. The system is also provided with advanced ECCM features at various levels. The weapon system is cost effective relative to equivalent systems in the global market.
The system is modular and mobile with all its components including launchers either wheeled truck or trailer mounted. Good lateral acceleration capability of missile till intercept provides high maneuverability and capability against high performance air targets, such as tactical strike aircraft, bombers, high altitude reconnaissance airplanes and armed helicopters. Equipped with multi-function phased array radar with tracking utilizing the modern electronic technology, the system has significant resistance to many kinds of active and passive jamming. All air defence functions such as classification, threat evaluation, prioritization and missile launch are automated, by virtue of usage of state of the art computation platforms and softwares. The system is configurable to adapt to future requirement.
The system is under production at Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bangalore for Eight squadrons for Indian Air Force. Two Regiments of Army version are under production at Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad for Indian Army. Missiles and missile related equipments are produced by BDL. Radars and radar related equipments for both (IAF and IA) orders are produced by BEL.
Thirteen (13) DRDO labs, Nineteen (19) Public Sector Units (PSUs), Five Ordnance Factories (OFs) and more than 200 small, medium, and few large scale private industries have actively participated during the development and production of Akash weapon system.