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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India test-fires Akash, surface-to-air missile

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, February 21, IRNA

India today test-fired the indigenously developed medium range surface-to-air missile Akash from the integrated test range (ITR) at its missile developing facility at Chandipur-on-sea, fifteen kilometers from Balasore in Orissa.

"Akash is a sophisticated multi-target missile, which was fired from a mobile launcher at around 1.00 pm and hit a target supported by the pilotless target aircraft (PTA) 'Lakshya'," reports the Press Trust of India.

The missile has a range of 27 km with an effective ceiling of 15 kms. It uses ramjet technology of rocket propulsion and has a low reaction time.

This sleek missile has a launch weight of 700 kg and can carry a 60-kg warhead and operates in conjunction with a Rajendra Surveillance and Engagement Radar being developed by Electronic Research and Development Establishment (ERDE). The radar is capable of tracking 64 targets and guide upto 12 missiles simultaneously.

Akash is a part of India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, the missile being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) had undergone a number of trials and the current thrust of the test was its guidance system.

"Efforts were also on to increase the speed and maximum altitude of the missile and extend its range to 60 kms," reports the Press Trust of India.

"The missile had witnessed a `hundred percent' successful trial with a live warhead conducted on November 30," reports the agency.


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