The Army on 21th Feb 2014 successfully flight-tested Akash, the medium range surface-to-air missile developed by the DRDO under IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program), from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha. The missile targeted a floating object supported by Lakshya-PTA (Pilotless Target Aircraft). It was a user-trial done by the Army, which turned out highly successful.
Akash has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kgs. It could be launched to engage and destroy fighter aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters and other targets. Supported by phased array Rajendra radar, which can track 64 targets, Akash missiles are guided towards their targets.
The warhead of the missile gets triggered by radio proximity fuze, while the onboard digital autopilot helps in stability and manoeuvring capability.
It uses high-energy solid propellant for the booster and ramjet propulsion for the sustainer phase. The ramjet propulsion system provides higher level of energy with minimum fuel mass, enable it to fly at supersonic speed reaching a maximum of 2.5 Mach.
It can be transported by rail, road and air; and it boasts of C4I, that is, command, control, communication, computers and intelligence. The entire system includes not only the missiles but the command and control system, the radars, the launch platforms and so on.
The last trial was conducted on June 6, 2012 from the same base.