The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired AKASH-MK-1S surface to air defence missile system from Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore, Odhisa on May 25 and 27 2019. This is the second successive successful missile test by DRDO in last two days.
Akash MK 1S is an upgraded version of existing Akash missile with indigenous technology developed as part of Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
It is a supersonic surface to air missile with multi-target engagement capability.
The new Akash weapon system has combination of both command guidance and active terminal seeker guidance and active terminal seeker guidance.
It is capable of neutralizing advanced aerial targets and in striking down enemy fighter jets and drones effectively.
It is highly mobile because of its high-energy solid propellant for booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for sustainer phase.
The Akash surface-to-air missile was designed to intercept enemy aircraft and missiles from a distance of 18 to 30 km.
Other missiles under IGDMP are Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles.The missile system was formally inducted into the Army on May 2015 and in the IAF on July 2015. Later in September 2015 the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared seven additional squadrons of the Akash missile for IAF.
After a 2017 Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report stated that 30% of these missiles failed when tested and in 2017 itself the Army too agreed that missiles did not meet its operational requirements because of their higher reaction time.
India is taking certain steps to slowly fill the holes in its air defence elements such as by developing advanced surface-to-air missile called Medium Range Surface to Air Missile’ (MRSAM) in collaboration with Israel.