India’s premier weapon designing lab Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully testfired a new medium-range Surface to Air Missile on Monday.
Dubbed “AKASH-NG,” the missile was tested on the Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha. It was the first development of new generation of Akash missile family. Based on the first series of indigenously designed and developed Surface to Air missiles, Akash NG tends to be a greater enhanced version of its predecessor.
The DRDO said in a statement, “We conducted the successful maiden launch of Akash-NG (New Generation) Missile from Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha.”
“Akash-NG is a new generation Surface to Air Missile meant for use by Indian Air Force with an aim of intercepting high maneuvering low RCS (Radar Cross Section) aerial threats,” it continued.
According to the DRDO, the missile intercepted the target with textbook precision and the launch met all the test objectives by performing high maneuvers during the trajectory.
This missile system is the most capable successor of its older version. Akash-NG serves as the centerpiece in India’s planned air defense umbrella, with a fielded radius of 70km. Highly autonomous with salvo packed configuration over the TEL, it will provide the much-needed mobility to the system, allowing it to access integral terrain of Indian military sites to establish air denial zones against enemies.
During the test, all monitoring stations observed the functionalities of the command and the control system onboard the missile. Avionics, thrust mechanism, guidance module, warhead detonation and all stages of trajectory were validated after all necessary parameters were met resulting in a successful test.
Overall, the missile was monitored during the entire path and the flight data was captured by various range instruments deployed, including Radar, EOTS, and Telemetry systems deployed by ITR. DRDO will conduct an additional series of tests before announcing its operationalizing in forces. Akash-NG will be used in deployments on various critical sites around India, especially against China and Pakistan in LAC and LoC regions.
Akash-NG is a medium ranged air defense system developed by DRDO and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). IAF will operate the system and plans to induct them around 2022-2023.
Capable of striking at 70 km, the missile is powered by a dual pulse motor with solid propellant and guided by an inertial guidance system in mid-course while active homing during the terminal phase. The entire system is guided and commanded by an active phased multi-function radar. The platform will complement India’s other air defense systems, such as the S-400, SPYDER, and Barak 8, greatly enhancing Indian air defense capability.