AKASH MISSILE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     13th January 2024        

Context: Recently, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) achieved a significant milestone with the successful flight-test of the New Generation AKASH (AKASH-NG) missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.        

AKASH Missile

  • Indigenous Development: Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
  • Characteristics: A mid-range surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile capable of supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5, with nuclear capability.
  • Multi-Target: A multi-target, multi-directional, all-weather air-defense system equipped with surveillance and tracking radars.
  • Propulsion System: Powered by a Ramjet-rocket propulsion system.
  • Operational Range and Altitude: Capable of engaging aerial threats up to a maximum range of 25 km and an altitude of 18 km, operating at speeds between 1.8 to 2.5 Mach.
  • Export Approval by Cabinet: The Cabinet has granted approval for the export of the Akash missile.

Akash-NG Variant 

  • About: A new-generation Surface-to-Air Missile designed for use by the Indian Air Force.
  • Purpose: Specifically designed to intercept high-maneuvering, low radar cross-section aerial threats. It features an advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-function radar combining search, track, and fire control functions.
  • Extended Range Capability: While the earlier variant has a maximum range of 25-30 km, the Akash-NG variant can effectively strike targets up to 70 km.