With the successful test-firing on Tuesday of the supersonic Surface-to-Air-Missile (SAM) Akash with an indigenous radio frequency seeker, India achieved the capability of making any type of SAM. The test was conducted from the complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha with Akash hitting the target – a UAV Banshee.
“The missile is being inducted into Army as Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM). This is the first Surface to Air Missile with indigenous seeker that has been test fired. With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of Surface to Air Missile,” a DRDO press release said.
According to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials, the indigenous radio frequency seeker developed at a cost of approximately $7 million will increase the range and accuracy of Akash missiles. The radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast tracked and monitored all the parameters of the missile during the test-firing.
The 5.8-meter long Akash, which has a range of 25 km and can fly at around 2.5 Mach reaching an altitude of 18 km, has phased array radar capable of tracking multiple targets. The missile can attack four enemy planes, missiles of UAVs simultaneously. The missile’s payload is a 55-kg fragmentation warhead which is triggered by a proximity fuse.
The missile’s launch weight is 720 kg and it is capable of operating in every weather condition and is used for defence against enemy fighter aircraft and missiles at low, medium and high altitudes. It can fly at supersonic speeds of around 2.5 Mach and can reach an altitude of 18 km.