Bhubaneswar, Feb 24: India Monday successfully test-fired its Akash medium-range surface-to-air missile from a defence base in Odisha, for the second time in less than a week, officials said.
The indigenously-developed missile, with a 27-km range and an effective ceiling of 15 km, was test-fired from the Integrated Test Range of Chandipur in the coastal district of Balasore, 230 km from Bhubaneswar.
Test range director M.V.K.V. Prasad said Akash was test-fired by scientists of Bharat Dynamic Limited, a state-run missile system manufacturer, and Bharat Electronics, a state-run defence electronics company.
“The test went very well,” he told IANS. Akash was earlier successfully tested from the same defence base Friday.
The 700-kg all-weather missile can carry a 60-kg warhead at speeds of up to Mach 2.5. It can operate autonomously and simultaneously engage and neutralise different aerial targets.
It can be launched from static or mobile platforms, enabling flexible deployment by the armed forces.
“These were part of a series of trials being conducted in various engagement modes,” Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta said.
“Both Monday’s flight destroying a target in receding ting mode, as well as the one conducted Feb 21 destroying an approaching target, fully met the mission objectives and a few more trials are planned in different engagement modes,” he said.
Avinash Chander, scientific adviser to Defence Minister A.K. Antony, said the development and production of Akash weapon is yet another symbol of India’s strength in making indigenous weapon systems.
“The successful trials show the continuing excellence of Indian weapon systems,” he said.
Developed by DRDO, the army version of Akash is being produced by the Bharat Dynamics Limited as the nodal production agency with the involvement of Bharat Electronics Limited and a large number of other industries.