Akash Medium-range Mobile Surface-to-air Missile Defense
Akash Medium-range Mobile Surface-to-air Missile Defense

Indian Cabinet Committee on Security Clears Akash Surface-to-air Missile for Export

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the decision to sell indigenous Akash missiles and other weapons systems to achieve India’s target of $5 billion exports and improving strategic relations with friendly foreign countries. Belarus, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and UAE have reportedly shown interest in buying Akash missile system. Vietnam has shown “deep interest” in the acquisition of Akash missiles, asking for transfer of technology and joint production of the air defence system. In 2018, A high-level defence delegation led by UAE Minister of State for Defence Affairs has shown interest in buying `Made in India’ Akash surface-to-air missile system.

The Indian Air Force has deployed Akash at its bases in Gwalior (Maharajpur AFS), Jalpaiguri (Hasimara AFS), Tezpur, Jorhat and Pune (Lohegaon AFS). The Indian Army has deployed one Akash Regiment in June–July 2015, with the second one to be ready by end of 2016. Indian Army deployed Akash air defence system along Line of Actual Control in Ladakh as tension rose between India and China 2020 China–India skirmishes. On 3 December 2020, the Indian Air Force carried out 10 missile firing at Suryalanka to bolster its capability among ongoing Indo-Sino border tension. The missiles were fired to validate different scenario and majority of the missiles scored a direct kill further establishing the efficacy of Akash missile.

Akash medium-range mobile surface-to-air missiles on a BMP-2 chassis. It can intercept targets up to 30 km range, 18 km altitude and reach Mach 2.5 speed.

Akash (Sky) is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems, Bharat Electronics (BEL), Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Larsen & Toubro for other radars, control centers, launcher systems in India. The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. It has the capability to neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles. It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

An Akash battery comprises a single Rajendra 3D passive electronically scanned array radar and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interlinked. Each battery can track up to 64 targets and attack up to 12 of them. The missile has a 60 kg (130 lb) high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead with a proximity fuse. The Akash system is fully mobile and capable of protecting a moving convoy of vehicles. The launch platform has been integrated with both wheeled and tracked vehicles. While the Akash system has primarily been designed as an air defence SAM, it also has been tested in a missile defense role. The system provides air defence missile coverage for an area of 2,000 km².

Akash medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile successfully test fired in very low altitude near boundary mission from the Integrated Test Range, Balasore, Odisha.