Indigenous Akash Air Defence Missile System Destroys Four Aerial Targets Simultaneously During IAF Exercise Astrashakti 2023


New Delhi: Demonstrating the capability of the Akash missile system to engage four aerial targets simultaneously at a range of 25 kilometres, India became the first country to have such a capability using a single firing unit, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said on December 17.

Akash surface-to-air (SAM) weapon system’s firepower demonstration boosts India’s indigenous weapon systems export potential.  The capability of the home-grown missile system was displayed at the Indian Air Force Exercise Astrashakti -2023 exercise recently.

The DRDO in a post on X said, “India became first country to demonstrate the capability of engagement of 04 aerial targets simultaneously at 25Km ranges by command guidance using single firing unit. The test was conducted by @IAF_MCC using Akash Weapon System.”

During the exercise, four targets were coming from same direction in a close formation and were split to attack their own defence assets from multiple directions simultaneously, the officials said explaining the trials.

“The Akash firing unit was deployed with Firing Level Radar (FLR), Firing Control Centre (FCC), and two Akash Air Force Launcher (AAFL) having five armed missiles,” they said. The FLR was detected and tracked and the air scenario with four targets was updated to a higher echelon.

The targets were assigned to the Akash Firing Unit to neutralise the threat and the commander issued the firing commands when the system prompted the engagement as per system capability.

“Two Akash missiles were launched from two launchers and the same launcher was assigned for next two targets. A total of four missiles were launched within a short span and all four targets were successfully engaged at maximum range (around 30 km) simultaneously,” they said.

With a range of up to 25 km, Akash is a short-range surface to air missile primarily used for protecting vulnerable areas and points from air attacks. The Akash weapon system is indigenously designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by defence public sector units along with other industries.

Deployed by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army for the last decade, the current firing was done from the Akash weapon system, which was ordered in September 2019 as a repeat order from the IAF.

The Akash weapon system is also one of the indigenous defence systems that have bagged orders from international customers. The missile system is among the key platforms that India is exporting to friendly foreign countries. It is also being constantly upgraded by the DRDO scientists involved in it and they may get more orders from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

A replica of the missile was recently inaugurated by the DRDO chief Dr Samir V Kamat at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai to attract talented youth towards defence research and development.