The Indian Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG), a surface-to-air Missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha on July 21, 2021. The flight trial was conducted at around 12:45 PM from a land-based platform with all weapon system elements such as Multifunction Radar, Command, Control & Communication System and launcher participating in deployment configuration. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, BDL, BEL, Indian Air Force and the Industry for the successful test. Secretary Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO applauded the efforts of the team and said the missile will strengthen the Indian Air Force.
Akash – New generation (IAST: Ākāśa “Sky”) abbreviated as Akash-NG 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) and Bharat Electronics (BEL). The launch was witnessed by the representatives of Indian Air Force. In order to capture flight data, ITR deployed a number of Range stations like, Electro Optical Tracking System, Radar and Telemetry. The flawless performance of the entire weapon system has been confirmed by complete flight data captured by these systems. During the test, the missile demonstrated high manoeuvrability required for neutralising fast and agile aerial threats.
The DRDO successfully conducted the first test of the missile on 25 January 2021 from Launching Complex – III at the Integrated Test Range near Chandipur, Odisha at about 2.30 pm against an electronic target. This missile is a successor to the Akash and Akash-1S series of missiles with improvements such as a Dual-pulse solid rocket motor, a canisterized launcher and an AESA Multifunction targeting radar to improve its probability of kill with a smaller ground operations and logistics footprint. Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force. Production agencies Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) also participated in the trials.
Akash-NG will have an improved reaction time and higher level of protection against saturation attacks. The second stage will use dual-pulse solid rocket motor which is lighter instead of air-breathing solid ramjet engine present in the earlier Akash and Akash-1S missiles to increase the overall range from current 40 km (25 mi) to greater than 80 km (50 mi) while also reducing the weight of the platform and the footprint of the launch platform, an active electronically scanned array Multi-Function Radar (MFR) and optical proximity fuze will improve the effectiveness of the missile against targets with low radar cross-section. The missile uses an Ku-band Active radar seeker which was revealed to the public during Aero India 2021.