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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India test-fires `Akash'

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 28, IRNA

Akash, India's surface-to-air missile, was today test-fired from the Interim Test Range (ITR), 15 kilometers from Balasore, Orissa, defence sources said.

The sleek 5.6-meter missile, with a range of 25 kilometers, was fired from a mobile launcher at 12:30 hours Indian Standard Time (IST) and then again at 12:35 hours IST, targeting a moving object attacked to a Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA), the sources said.

`Akash' is being developed as part of the country's guided missile development program by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The 700-kilogram sophisticated missile, which can carry a warhead of 60 kilograms, uses an integral ramjet propulsion system and has low reaction time, the sources said.

It can handle multiple targets with its command and guidance system.

It has operated in conjunction with the indegenously built Rajendra sureveillance and engagement radar developed by the Hyderabad-based Electronic Research and Development Establishment.

The radar is capable of tracking 64 targets and guides up to 12 missiles simultaneously, the sources added.

Akash was earlier test-fired on December 3 and 7 and twice on October 3, 2005.


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