India on Thursday successfully testfired indigenously-developed surface-to-air Akash missile with a strike range of 25 km and capability to carry warhead of 60 kgs from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur as part of a user-trial.
Describing the launch as successful, Defence sources said that the sophisticated missile was testfired at about 10.58 hours from launch complex-3 of the Interim Test Range.
“The mission was successful. The trial was conducted by Indian Air Force personnel,” ITR Director M V K V Prasad said.
Akash, which aimed at a para-barrel target during the trial, is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
The missile has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously, the sources said.
With the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles, Defence experts compared Akash to the American MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system.
While the Air-force version of Akash has already been inducted into the armed forces, the Army version is in the final stage of induction, the sources said.
The missile was last test fired from the same base on April 26, 2014.
The start by the government, with 44 days gone, has been measured, more practised and less frenetic.