Akash is a short to medium range Short Range Surface to Air Missile system which was produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). Missile Akash was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to protect the areas which are vulnerable to aerial attacks. Electronic Counter-CounterMeasures (ECCM) features are built into it and the entire system configuration of the weapon system has been done on mobile platforms.
The Indian Air Force inducted the Akash Missile in May 2008 while the Indian Army did it on 5 May 2015. The development cost of the project was Rs. 1000 crore which includes a project sanction of Rs. 600 crore. The important features of this missile are its mobility, multiple target handling, digitally commanded guidance and fully automatic operations. Since it’s an important topic for the UPSC exam, let’s discuss it in more detail.
All IAS and other government exam aspirants must read about the List of Missiles of India at the linked article.
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History and Akash Missile System
Mark-I: It was the first test flight of the Akash missile. It was conducted in 1990 when two Akash missiles intercepted 2 fast-moving targets in simultaneous engagement mode in 2005.
Akash-1S: Later, the Indian Armed Forces demanded a missile that could destroy inbound targets more properly. For this, the DRDO offered the Akash-1S which is an upgraded version of the Akash missile. It was tested by DRDO on 25 May and 27 May 2019. It had a strike range of 30 km with a capability to carry a warhead of 60 kg from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha. This missile can strike down fighter jets as well as drones from a distance of around 18 to 30 km that can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms for greater mobility.
Akash Prime: The next version after Akash-1s was Akash Prime whose test launch was done on 27 September 2021. This missile intercepted and destroyed an unmanned mimicking aircraft aerially. It is equipped with active radio frequencies which increase the missile’s further accuracy. It is used during low temperatures and high altitude operations.
Akash-NG: This Akash missile is known as a successor missile with a newly implemented design. Approved in September 2016 along with funding of ₹470 crores, it has an improved reaction time with a high level of protection against aerial attacks.
The UPSC Syllabus extensively covers all the relevant aspects of this topic, especially the history and types of missiles.
The Akash Missile system can launch targets on aircraft up to 30 km (19 mi) away. Aerial targets like air-to-surface missiles, fighter jets, cruise missiles, etc. can be neutralized through this missile. This missile has a nearly 90 per cent kill probability. On firing the first missile of Akash, there is 88 per cent kill probability and 99 per cent for the second.
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It comprises a single electronically scanned array radar known as Rajendra 3d. Around 3 missiles and 4 launchers each are interlinked in it. Every battery can track 64 targets and an attack can be done on 12 of them. Akash Missile has 60 kg. pre-fragmented warhead and high explosive with a proximity fuse.
It can protect a convoy of vehicles. It was primarily started for the work of air defence SAM, but later it was tested into the missile defence role. It can provide air defence coverage of 2000 km. The missile has a launch weight of 720 kg, a wingspan of 1,105 mm, a length of 5.8 m and a diameter of 350 mm.
The deployment of the missile by IAF is carried out at its bases Tezpur, Jorhat, Pune, Gwalior and Jalpaiguri. The air defence system of the Akash missile was deployed by the Indian Army along LAC in Ladakh as tensions grew between India and China along the borders.
Akash missile is included in the current affairs section of some of the very important examinations. If you’re preparing for the likes of IAS, you should study it meticulously.
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Frequently Asked Questions On Akash Missile
What is the weight and length of the Akash missile?
It has a launch weight of 720 kg, a wingspan of 1,105 mm, a length of 5.8 m and a diameter of 350 mm.
Akash Missile is manufactured by whom?
Designed and developed by DRDO, it is manufactured by Bharat Dynamics. The hi-tech ‘Rajendra phased array radars are produced by Bharat Electronics.
How many components does the Akash missile have?
Command centres, a 3D passive electronically scanned array Rajendra radar, contains integral ramjet propulsion, a command guidance unit, a system arming and detonation mechanism with a digital autopilot, a switchable guidance antenna system; multi-function Rajendra phased-array radar and an onboard power supply are the important components of Akash Missile.