Sunday, April 27, 2014

IAF Akash Missile Twin Tests on April 26, 2014: Photos & Additional Details

The second IAF Akash poised for launch during the twin missile test. Photo Credit: DRDO
DRDO has released additional details about the IAF's successful multiple launch test of the Akash missile at the ITR in Chandipur, Odisha on April 26, 2014.

Both the tests involved high speed maneuvering targets towed by Pilotless Target Aircraft (PTA), simulating enemy fighters. One missile engaged its target in the incoming mode and the other in the receding mode.

The Akash missile systems as well as the PTAs were operated by Indian Air Force personnel to simulate a realistic engagement to verify the missile's capability in different envelops.

The first missile leaves its launcher during the April 26, 2014 test. Photo Credit: DRDO

Akash Missile Orders

The IAF has placed orders for a total of 8 Akash missile squadrons - An initial order for 2 squadrons in 2008 and a follow-up order for 6 squadrons in 2010. The Army has placed orders for two Akash regiments.

Akash missile is manufactured at Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). It's associated radars are produced by BEL, which  is the nodal production agency for the IAF order. (Interestingly, BDL is the nodal production agency for the Army order.)

Total production orders placed by Services (IAF and Indian Army) for Akash missile system roughly amounts to Rs 23,000 Cr. DRDO has so far delivered missile systems worth Rs 3,500 Cr to the services. 

In addition, the 3D-Central acquisition radar (3D-CARs) of the missile system. is being delivered to the three services against differeing requirements and is in continuous production.

A close up of the missile as it leaves its launcher. Note the guards on the four intakes of the ramjet second stage are still in place. Photo Credit: DRDO

IAF Order Fulfillment

The IAF has already inducted the two Akash missile squadrons delivered against its initial order. 

DRDO's press release for the April 26, 2014 tests suggests that the IAF asked for the missile tests on April 26, 2014 to reassure itself that production lot missiles would perform to their claimed specifications.

The press release also quotes Akash missile Project Director, Shri G Chandramouli as saying:

It is a notable achievement that the entire equipment of sophisticated radars, control centers, launchers & ground support systems for Indian Air Force have been realized and produced in less than two years indicating the integrated capability of DRDO, DDP, Inspection agency MSQAA and Indian Industry. A path has been created for continuous production of sophisticated surface to air missile systems in the country through this program. 

The statement suggests that though the IAF placed its initial order for two Akash missile squadrons in 2008, production didn't start till 2011 or 2012.

IDP Sentinel members can read more about the Akash missile at the link below

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