- The Akash (sky) is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system which can fly at supersonic speeds ranging from Mach 2.8 to 3.5. The missile is being developed under the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP). Other missiles in the programme include Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles, as well as the Prithvi ballistic missile.
- The kill probability of the missile is 88% and can be increased to 98.5% by launching the second missile after five seconds of launching the first.
- The Akash SAM system can employ multiple air targets while operating in fully autonomous mode.
- The Akash system is fully mobile and capable of protecting a moving convoy of vehicles. The launch platform has been integrated with both wheeled and tracked vehicles.
- developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO),
- Ordnance Factories Board and
- Bharat Electronics (BEL) in India
Each Akash battery consists of four self-propelled Launchers (3 Akash SAMs each), a Battery Level Radar - the Rajendra, and a Command post (Battery Control Centre). In other way we can say, that an Akash battery comprises four 3D phased array radars and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interlinked. Each battery can track up to 64 targets and attack up to 12 of them.
- Two versions of the missile are being built for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army (IA). The first batch of the Akash missiles for the IA is expected to be rolled out by September 2012. The first Akash missile was delivered to the IAF in March 2012. Deliveries to the IAF are expected to be concluded in 2015.
- The IAF has ordered 1,000 Akash missiles and the IA 2,000 missiles. The orders from the IAF are anticipated to increase if the Indo-Israeli joint venture to develop a MRSAM (medium range SAM) is put on hold.
- The Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) ordered INR125bn ($2.8bn) of the army version Akash missile system in June 2010.
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