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2019-05-28

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Science & Technology
www.thehindu.com

The DRDO on Monday successfully test-fired the new version of the Akash surface-to-air defence missile system with a new indigenously-developed seeker in Balasore off the Odisha coast.

This is the second successful test of the missile following another on Saturday.

The medium range multi-target engagement capable missile was developed as part of the Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) other than Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles.

Highly mobile

The supersonic missile has a range of around 25 km and up to the altitude of 18,000 metres.

The missile uses high-energy solid propellant for the booster and ramjet-rocket propulsion for the sustainer phase. The missile system is said to be highly mobile.

Several variants of the missile — Akash MK1, Akash-MK2 — with improved accuracy and higher ranges are under development by the DRDO.

History of the missile

The missile system was formally inducted into the IAF on July 10, 2015, and in the Army on May 5, 2015. In September that year, the Defence Acquisition Council cleared seven additional squadrons of the missile for the IAF.

However, it had been bogged in controversies with a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in 2017 stating that 30% of the missiles failed when tested.

The Army too had said in 2017 that the missile did not meet its operational requirements due to higher reaction time.

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