Akash missile export
As part of efforts to boost defence exports, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the export of the indigenously developed and manufactured Akash short-range Surface to Air Missile (SAM) system.
- Akash (Sky) is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) for Missile Systems, Bharat Electronics (BEL), Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Larsen & Toubro for other radars, control centers, launcher systems in India.
- The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. It has the capability to neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.
- It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. An Akash battery comprises a single Rajendra 3D passive electronically scanned array radar 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. The missile has a 60 kg (130 lb) high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead with a proximity fuse. 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. While the Akash system has primarily been designed as an air defence SAM, it also has been tested in a missile defense role. The system provides air defence missile coverage for an area of 2,000 km².
- The Indian military's combined orders of the Akash, including radar systems (WLR and Surveillance), have a total worth of ₹23,300 crore (US$4 billion).