NEW DELHI, Dec 17: India has strongly demonstrated the firepower of its Akash surface-to-air (SAM) weapon system where a single firing unit simultaneously engaged and destroyed four unmanned targets.
The demonstration was given during the Exercise Astrashakti 2023 held recently improving India’s prospects of exporting its indigenous weapon systems. India has become the first to demonstrate the capability of engaging four targets simultaneously at such ranges by command guidance using a single firing unit, defence officials said.
“India demonstrated the firepower of the indigenous Akash missile system, where four targets (unmanned aerial targets) were engaged simultaneously by a single Akash firing unit. The demonstration was conducted by the IAF during Astrashakti 2023 at Suryalanka Air Force Station on December 12,” they said.
Explaining the trials, the officials said during the exercise, four targets were coming from same direction in a close formation and were split to attack their own defence assets from multiple directions simultaneously.
“The Akash firing unit was deployed with Firing Level Radar (FLR), Firing Control Centre (FCC), and two Akash Air Force Launcher (AAFL) launchers having five armed missiles,” they said. The FLR was detected and tracked and the air scenario with four targets was updated to a higher echelon.
The targets were assigned to the Akash Firing Unit to neutralise the threat and the commander issued the firing commands when the system prompted the engagement as per system capability.
“Two Akash missiles were launched from two launchers and the same launcher was assigned for next two targets. A total of four missiles were launched within a short span and all four targets were successfully engaged at maximum range (around 30 km) simultaneously,” they said.
The Akash Weapon System is indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by defence public sector units along with other industries. Akash has been deployed by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army for the last decade. The current firing was done from the system, which was ordered in September 2019 as a repeat order from the IAF.
The Akash weapon system is also one of the indigenous defence systems that have bagged orders from international customers. It is also being constantly upgraded by the DRDO scientists involved in it and they may get more orders from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Recently, DRDO chief Dr Samir V Kamat inaugurated a replica of the missile at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai to attract talented youth towards defence research and development.