Akash Missile is a surface-to-air missile defense system manufactured and developed by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Bharat DynamicsLimited (BDL) has produced the missile system and Bharat Electronics (BEL) for other radars control centers in India.
The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. it can neutralize ballistic missiles as well as fighter jets and cruise missiles. It has been operational in the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force since 2009. An Akash battery has a single Rajendra 3D Passively Electronically Scanned Array Radar and four launchers with three missiles each. All of them are interlinked.
Features of Akash
The Akash category missiles are called SAM (surface-to-air missiles). This system can engage multiple targets while operating in a fully independent model. This system has a launcher, A Missile, a control center, an integral mission-guided system, a system arming & explosion mechanism, a multifunctional fire control radar, a digital autopilot, C4I (command, control communication computer, and intelligence centers), and supporting ground equipment.
The GCC ( group control center) Is responsible for the command & control headquarters for the SAM system. Every single battery of each Akash missile consists of four 3D passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radars. And four self-propelled launchers with three missiles each, all of them are interconnected.
This system has Rajendra radar, which is the battery level. This system has self-destructive programmed into it; it can track and engage multiple targets simultaneously. This system protects a moving procession of vehicles using an electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM ) system.
Akash’s design is so that it can be launched from any static or mobile platform, such as tanks or wheeled trucks, providing flexible deployment.
Akash can mark and destroy multiple targets, including unmanned vehicles, aerial vehicles, fighter jets, cruise missiles, and launched missiles from helicopters; this missile can destroy targets up to heights of 18000m and in a range of 30 km; it provides multi-directional and multi-target area defense.
The missile can carry up to 60 kg of warheads. Aiding the nuclear warheads provides the capacity for the missile to destroy the aircraft and warheads released from the ballistic missiles. Akash missiles can operate in all weather conditions.
Missile Akash began developing in 1983. flight testing was done for the first time in 1990; until March 1997, Akash was under development mode; trials were done in March 1997. The missile intercepted two aerial targets in 2005 in a trial demonstration. A total of 16 trial firings were conducted by August 2006. Indian Air Force tested Akash in December 2007 at the Chandpur (Odhisa).
Several variants of the missile- Akash MK1 Akash-MK2 with improved accuracy and higher ranges are under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
The first Akash surface-to-air missile successfully destroyed a target during two flight trials in February 2014. The Indian Army conducted a test flight of the Akash missile against a mini unmanned fast-moving Banshee aerial vehicle at an altitude of 30m above sea level from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur in June 2014.
The Rajendra radar of the Indian army can track 40 targets in range and azimuth with tracking up to 100km. The 3D central acquisition radar is a long-range surveillance radar that helps the group control center (GCC) by tracking 200 targets.
While scanning (TWS) mode from a tracking range of 150 km. by measuring the azimuth range and height of targets, it transmits to the GCC via communication links. Rajendra radar receives the target position by the information signal sent by the GCC.
Ramjet rocket propulsion system powers Akash, which boosts thrust to intercept the target at supersonic speed without any retardation. Akash can fly at supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5 and engage aerial targets up to a range of approximately 25km. Akash has a killing capacity of 88% and can be increased to 98.5% by launching the second missile five seconds after launching the first.
(BEL) Bharat Electronics developed the Akash surface-to-air missile. Bharat Dynamics is a nodal agency for the Akash production of the army. DRDO has many labs devoted totally to the development of Akash (SAM).
DRDL has a hand in the system integration and missile system Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) manufactured the tracked vehicles. ARDE produced the warheads and propellants built by the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL). Tata Power and Larsen & turbo provided the launcher system.