For the second day in a row, India today successfully conducted trial of its indigenously developed surface-to-air 'Akash' missile, which has a strike range of 25 km, from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Air Force.
"The sophisticated Akash missile was test-fired from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur at about 1.20 PM," defence sources here said.
Describing the trials as "fully successful", ITR Director M V K V Prasad said, "The entire exercise was carried out as part of a user trial by Indian Air Force." It was a repeat test of yesterday's trial, he said. The trial of Akash conducted yesterday was also successful. 'Akash' is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
While the Air Force version has already been inducted, the Army version is in the final stage of induction into the armed forces, the sources said. The missile has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kgs. It has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously, they said.
With its capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles, defence experts compare 'Akash' to the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system of the USA. Besides yesterday, the missile was last test-fired from the same base on June 19.