Medium-range surface-to-air defense missile system - India
The Akash is a medium-range surface-to-air defense missile (SAM) system designed and manufactured by India's state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The development of the Akash missile system was started in 1983 with its first production in 2002. The first trial firings occurred in 1990 with the tenth stated test in September 1998. The missile system was developed based on the Soviet 2K12 (NATO Code SA-6 Gainful) surface-to-air missile defense system. In May 2012, the Indian Air Force successfully test-fired Akash from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Orissa, India. The missile has since been successfully test-fired in ripple mode against a floating object launched by a pilotless target aircraft in May 2014. In February 2015, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), announced the mass production of the Akash Missile System (AMS) for the Indian Army. The Indian Army has already placed an order with BDL for two regiments of the Akash Weapon System. BEL will be supplying all the radars, control centers, satellite data links to BDL for integration on Army variants of the Akash Weapon System. In March 2015, the Indian Army has confirmed that the Akash missile system will enter in service with the Indian Armed Forces. The missile system was formally inducted into the Indian Air Force on July 10, 2015, and in the Indian Army on May 5, 2015. According to the newspaper website Times of India, the Indian Air Force has already begun to deploy six Akash missile squadrons in the northeast to counter China's build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), which includes eight fully-operational airbases in Tibet.
Akash SAM missile system variants:
- Akash on tracked armored: A launch station of Akash missile system mounted on a tracked armored vehicle.
Akash missile system mounted on T-72 tank tracked chassis.
The Akash missile launch station is mounted at the rear of a trailer towed by a 4x4 military truck. The launch station consists of three ready-to-fire Akash missiles. The launchers can be slew in both elevation and azimuth. The tracked self-propelled launcher has a turntable with a traverse of 360° and its arc in elevation is from 6 to 60 degrees. The Akash truck launcher station has also a 360° turntable 360, in elevation, it can fire from 8 to 75 degrees in all directions depending on the mode of deployment. It features an all-electro servo drive system for fully automated and remote operation.
|Design and protection|
The design of the Akash missile is very similar to the Russian SA-6 with four long tube ramjet inlet ducts mounted mid-body between wings. For pitch/yaw control four clipped triangular moving wings are mounted on the mid-body Akash is a surface-to-air missile with an intercept range of 30 km. It has a launch weight of 720 kg, a diameter of 35 cm, and a length of 5.78 meters. Akash flies at supersonic speed, reaching around Mach 2.5. It can reach an altitude of 18 km and can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms. An on-board guidance system coupled with an actuator system makes the missile maneuverable up to 15g loads and a tail chase capability for end game engagement. A digital proximity fuse is coupled with a 55 kg pre-fragmented warhead, while the safety arming and detonation mechanism enables a controlled detonation sequence. A self-destruct device is also integrated. It is propelled by an Integrated Ramjet Rocket Engine. The use of a ramjet propulsion system enables sustained speeds without deceleration throughout its flight. The missile has command guidance in its entire flight. It can carry conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 60 kg. The integration of nuclear warheads allows the missile to destroy aircraft as well as warheads released from ballistic missiles. It can operate in all weather conditions.
|The Akash launcher system can be mounted on a detachable trailer which is towed by a 4x4 Ashok Leyland or TATA truck, and which can be positioned autonomously. It can be also mounted also on a T-72 tracked MBT (Main Battle Tank) chassis. A version of the Akash missile system was also shown during a military parade in India mounted on a modified tracked chassis vehicle BMP-1. The missile system can be also mounted on T-72 tank truck chassis.|
Akash missile system mounted on BMP-1 tracked armored chassis.
|An Akash battery comprises four 3D passive electronically scanned 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. The missile has a 60 kg (130 lb) high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead with a proximity fuse. The 3D CAR automatically starts tracking targets at a distance of around 150 km providing early warning to the system and operators. The target track information is transferred to GCC (Group Control Centre ). GCC automatically classifies the target. BSR starts tracking targets around a range of 100 km. This data is transferred to GCC. The GCC performs multi-radar tracking and carries out track correlation and data fusion. Target position information is sent to the BLR which uses this information to acquire the targets The BCC (Battery Control Centre) which can engage a target(s) from the selected list at the earliest point of time is assigned the target in real-time by the GCC. The availability of missiles and the health of the missiles are also taken into consideration during this process. Fresh targets are assigned as and when intercepts with assigned targets are completed. A single shot kill probability of 88% has been achieved by the system taking into consideration various parameters of the sensors, guidance command, missile capabilities, and kill zone computations. Each Akash battery can engage up to four targets simultaneously. Each battery has four launchers with three missiles each, with each Rajendra able to guide eight missiles in total, with a maximum of two missiles per target. Up to a maximum of four targets can be engaged simultaneously by a typical battery with a single Rajendra if one (or two) missiles is allotted per target.|
|Type of missile||Weight Missile|
|Medium-range surface-to-air missile||720 kg|
|Three missiles ready to fire||5.78 m|
|Designer Country||Range missile|
|Conventional and nuclear warheads||Terminal guidance system|
|60 kg||3D passive electronically scanned array radars|
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