THE Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on 23 July 2021 conducted the second consecutive successful test of the new variant of the Akash Surface to Air Missile — New Generation (Akash-NG). While the test on 23 July 2021 was conducted with a Radio Frequency Seeker — which is a target tracker system — the test two days ago was conducted without it.

What

  1. The test, carried out from the Integrated Test Range in Chandipur, off the Odisha coast, was carried out against a high-speed unmanned aerial target which was successfully intercepted by the missile.
  2. The flight test validated the functioning of the complete weapon system consisting of the missile with indigenously developed RF (Radio Frequency) Seeker, Launcher, Multi-Function Radar and Command, Control and Communication system.
  3. The test was carried out amid inclement weather conditions, proving the all-weather capability of the weapon system.
  4. The test on 21 July 2021, which was also conducted from the ITR, was done without an RF seeker and met the mission’s targets with precision.
  5. The Akash missile system has been inducted and is operational with both the Indian Air Force as well as the Indian Army.
  6. The Akash-NG that has various new features is set to enhance the air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
  7. DRDO scientists said that the missile system has a range of close to 60 km and can travel at 2.5 times the speed of sound.

Flashback

  1. Akash is primarily a Short Range Surface to Air Missile system designed and developed by the DRDO for use by Armed forces for the protection of vulnerable areas and vulnerable points from adversary air attacks.
  2. The weapon system can simultaneously engage multiple targets in group mode and can also function in autonomous mode.
  3. It has built-in Electronic Counter-Counter Measure features, which means that it has mechanisms on-board that can counter the electronic system that deceives the detection systems.