Indian Armed Forces To Induct HugeNumber Of Indigenous Akash Surface-To-Air missile (SAM) Systems


Indian armed forces are going in for a huge induction of the indigenous Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to counter the threat posed by enemy fighters, drones and helicopters on both western and eastern fronts as well as protect "vital areas and installations".

Developed by DRDO after 25 years of technical glitches, the 25-km range Akash air defence weapon system finally seems to have found favour with the armed forces, who are desperate to plug existing operational gaps in air defence.

The IAF had earlier ordered eight Akash squadrons — six of them will be based in North East to counter China — for Rs 6,200 crore. Now, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Thursday cleared two Akash regiments, with six firing batteries and hundreds of missiles each, for the Army. The total order for the Army stands at Rs 14,180 crore at present. The low-reaction-time Akash is designed to neutralise multiple aerial targets attacking from several directions simultaneously, with a digitally-coded command guidance system, in all weather conditions. "The fully-automated Akash has an 88% kill probability within a specified kill zone... It has even intercepted a target with a 0.02 sq metre of radar cross-section (a fighter has a 2 sqm RCS)," said an official. 





DRDO, in fact, says the sleek 5.6-metre-long Akash, powered to carry a payload of 60 kg, can even take on sub-sonic cruise missiles. Akash, which DRDO claims is "96% indigenous", is not the only SAM system that the forces are going to induct to replace their obsolete Russian-origin Pechora, OSA-AK and Igla missiles.


 

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