India's DRDO plans to increase range of the Akash surface-to-air missile

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India's DRDO plans to increase range of the Akash surface-to-air missile

The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has decided to increase the range of the Akash Surface to air missile (SAM), one of its successful programs, and provide it with a ‘seeker’ in its warhead to achieve better targeting efficiency. Reliable sources in the DRDO are not willing to divulge too many details about these two important elements – the range and the seeker – just yet.


Indian-made Akash surface-to-air missile system


The Indian army and air force has ordered an unspecified number of missiles at a combined cost of $3.8 billion. And experts believe that as the traditional air defense systems like Russian systems like Pechoras legacy systems are phased out, the demand for Akash systems will increase.


Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories Board and Bharat Electronics (BEL). The missile system can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. A nuclear warhead could potentially give the missile the capability to destroy both aircraft and warheads from ballistic missiles. The Akash missile is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. It had a radio frequency proximity fuse. The increased range will means an ability to target faster moving aircraft.

The 700-kg Akash missile can carry a 60-kg warhead at speeds of up to Mach 2.5. It can be launched from a fixed as well as a mobile platform.
 

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