IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


15th January, 2024 Security


Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • India conducted a successful flight test of the new generation AKASH missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur.


  • The Akash missile, developed by the Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.
  • With capabilities to target a variety of aerial threats, it plays a crucial role in India's integrated air defense network.
  • Surveillance Components: Developed by Bharat Electronics (BEL), Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division, and Larsen & Toubro.

Operational Capabilities

  • Target Range: The Akash missile system can target aircraft up to 45 km away.
  • Versatility: Capable of neutralizing fighter jets, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and ballistic missiles.
  • Service: Currently in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.

System Components and Configuration

  • Battery Composition: Each battery consists of a Rajendra 3D passive electronically scanned array radar and four launchers with three missiles each.
  • Tracking and Engagement: Rajendra radar can track up to 64 targets and engage up to 12 simultaneously. The missile has a 60 kg high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead.
  • Mobility: Fully mobile, protecting a moving convoy of vehicles and deployable by rail, road, or air.

Deployment Configurations

  • Autonomous and Group Modes: The Akash system can be deployed autonomously or in group mode to defend vulnerable areas based on threat profiles and engagement scenarios.
  • Coverage Patterns: Various geometric formations, including box, linear array, and trapezoidal, offering defense coverage for different area sizes.

Missile Characteristics

  • Range: Surface-to-air missile with a 25 km intercept range.
  • Speed: Flies at supersonic speed, reaching around Mach 2.5.
  • Altitude: Capable of reaching an altitude of 20 km.
  • Platforms: Can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms.

Guidance and Propulsion

  • Guidance System: Equipped with an onboard guidance system using command guidance throughout its flight.
  • Propulsion: Integrated Ramjet Rocket Engine for sustained speeds without deceleration.

Radar Systems

  • Fire Control Radar: Guided by the Rajendra phased array radar with a tracking range of about 60 km.
  • Long-Range Target Acquisition: 3D Central Acquisition Radar (3D CAR) provides long-range surveillance, tracking up to 200 targets.

Variants and Upgrades

  • Akash-1S: Upgraded version with an indigenous seeker, offering improved accuracy.
  • Akash Prime: Features an improved active radio-frequency seeker and optimized for low temperature and high altitude operations.
  • Akash-NG: New generation variant with improved reaction time and a higher level of protection against saturation attacks.

Export and International Interest

  • Export Success: Exported to countries like Vietnam, and interest from the Philippines, Belarus, Malaysia, Thailand, UAE, and Armenia.
  • Export Approval: Cabinet Committee on Security approved the export of Akash missile defense system to foreign countries.

Operational History

  • Deployment: Used in Indian Air Force bases and along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
  • User Trials: Successfully completed user trials, demonstrating efficiency against various targets.
  • Future Inductions: Indian Army scheduled to receive two Akash Prime regiments.


The successful flight test of the new generation Akash missile demonstrates its capabilities in intercepting high-speed aerial threats at very low altitudes. The validation of the complete weapon system marks a significant milestone, and the upcoming user trials will further assess its operational readiness and effectiveness. The development showcases India's continued progress in enhancing its indigenous defense capabilities.


Q. Discuss the significance and achievements of India's missile program, with a focus on the indigenous development and capabilities of the Akash missile system. (250 Words)