Indigenously-built Akash missile inducted in IAF

Gwalior, July 10 (IANS) The indigenously-developed supersonic surface-to-air missile ‘Akash’ was formally inducted in the Indian Air Force (IAF) here on Friday.

The missile, having a speed three times faster than that of sound, can hit eight targets at a time, according to defence experts.

In a function held here at the Maharajpur Air Force Station, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar handed over Akash to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha.

Akash missile system is already with the Indian Army.

Parrikar, who witnessed the live demonstration of the missile, lauded the efforts of Defence Research and Development Organisation, Bharat Electronics Limited and public and private industries and said they had worked together to resolve a number of challenges that arose in the production of the Akash missile system.

The IAF chief said that a high success rate had been achieved during the trials of the missile system.

He said plans were afoot for procurement of additional Akash systems.

Akash is a potent supersonic mobile multi-directional, multi-target air defence system that can simultaneously engage multiple air targets using sophisticated multi-function phased array radars.

The advanced ECCM (Electronic Counter Counter Measures) features provide secure communication links with other air defence command and control networks to handle counter electronic warfare scenario.

The surface-to-air missile, prepared using 92 percent of indigenous machinery, can be transported anywhere via road, water or air transport, defence experts said.

They said the missile can track a target 100 km away and hit the enemy’s helicopter, plane or drone from a 25-km distance.

The missile’s radar, developed by BEL, has been named “Rajendra Radar”.

Officials said indigenous development of Akash system has given impetus to the defence industrial base of the country and generated business of more than Rs.20,000 crore.

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