India has announced the successful test-launch of the latest version of the Akash missile, which can take down high-maneuvering, low radar cross-section (RCS) or stealth threats.
The test of Akash NG (New Generation) was conducted by the Indian Army and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in the Pokhran Field Firing range in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district on March 23.
The missile, which has been designed for the use of the Air Force (IAF) and the Army, can intercept high-maneuvering aerial threats, while also enhancing the artillery of the Army.
Currently, the IAF and the Army operate around nine batteries of the Akash medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system.
The upgraded Akash NG will improve the military’s capability to take down threats, including those posed by the enemy’s stealth fighter jets.
With surgical precision&lethality, #AkashWeaponSystem destroys highly manoeuvrable, high speed aerial target adopting challenging profiles; another milestone added to its legacy as one of the most potent SR SAM system.#IndianArmy #AtmaNirbharBharat@adgpi @DRDO_India @bdl_india pic.twitter.com/KRuXSZOiF7
— SouthWesternCommand_IA (@SWComd_IA) March 23, 2021
According to The Times of India, the Indian Army’s version of the Akash NG missile was launched from a heavy mobility truck. The daily quoted an Indian official as saying that the missile can “engage in multiple targets in real-time”.
In a tweet, the Indian Army’s South-Western Command said, “With surgical precision & lethality, Akash Weapon System destroys highly maneuverable, high-speed aerial target adopting challenging profiles; another milestone added to its legacy as one of the most potent SR SAM systems.”
One of the key advantages of the new Akash NG SAMs is that it is powered by a brand new rocket motor instead of the old ramjet that powered the legacy Akash missile.
Besides, the Akash NG has a two-pulse, solid rocket motor, which offers it a longer range of 30 kilometers along with the ability to generate a high terminal velocity to outperform even the fastest and most agile enemy fighter jets.
“When the second pulse motor is fired, the Akash NG speeds up and no enemy aircraft can get away,” a DRDO scientist involved in the project, had earlier said.
Designed and developed by DRDO, the existing Akash missiles have a range of 25 kilometers and can target fighter jets, cruise missiles, drones, and other aerial assets. The missile system was deployed in eastern Ladakh during the India-China military stand-off.