Akash Prime: A new version of the Akash missile – ‘Akash Prime’ has recently been test-fired by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, Odisha.
- Adding more firepower to India’s missile arsenal, this newest, lethal, and more accurate member of the Akash missile family in its maiden flight test successfully intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking enemy aircraft.
- The flight test of Akash Prime comes months after the successful flight test of another Akash Missile version called Akash-NG.
- DRDO, in July, had successfully flight tested the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG) a Surface to Air Missile from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha.
- The Akash-NG which has also been developed by DRDO can neutralize targets upto 25 km.
About Akash Prime:
- Akash Prime is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.
- It is similar to the earlier version of the Akash Missile but it has been modified.
- It has an operational range of 27 to 30 km and a flight altitude of approximately 18 km.
- It is equipped with an indigenous (Made in India) Radio Frequency seeker for improved accuracy.
- The range stations of the ITR, comprising of Radars, EOTS (Electro Optical Tracking System) and Telemetry stations, monitored the missile trajectory and flight parameters.
- It is developed to replace the Russian 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system which is currently in service.
- Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under low temperature environments, at higher altitudes.
- The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad, a constituent of the DRDO.
- It has been built in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories.
- The Akash Prime will be produced by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
- Akash Prime system will further boost the confidence of the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force (IAF) as the Akash system is already inducted and now being improved with more lethal missiles.
- The feat is significant as it marks a step ahead in India’s much-focused Aatmanirbhar Bharat mission, which lays a special emphasis on self-reliance in defence.
About Akash-NG Missile:
- Akash surface-to-air (SAM) was developed as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
- The development of this missile began in the late 1980s by the DRDO.
- The Akash Missile has been named after the Sanskrit term for sky ‘Akash’.
- It is a short-range surface-to-air missile that can simultaneously engage multiple targets in autonomous or group mode.
- The Akash weapon system has built-in Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM).
- It comprises a set of missiles, a launcher, a control centre.
- It is a nuclear-capable missile with a speed upto Mach 2.5 at a maximum height of 18km.
- It can strike enemy aerial targets like drones, cruise missiles, fighter jets, air-to-air missiles as well as ballistic missiles from a distance of 30km.
- The Akash Missiles were inducted in the 2010s in the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.
- In 2020, the Central government had approved on the export of the Akash Missile system.
- As per the Ministry of Defence, the Akash Missile system is 96 per cent indigenous .