Akash Short Range SAM System
India initiated a project to develop a Surface to air missile in the early 1990's , as a Result of the Program the Akash project was born, and DRDO successfully test fired the First Akash missile in early 1990. the Akash missile was developed by jointly with the effort of BDL and OFB with the supports from DRDO, as each contributed by integration, development and manufacturing. so far the Akash achieved many milestones and improved a lot even work as a Stand alone systems.
There was two projects in Akash, one is mark 1 another is mark 2 but both are same, However Mark two has increased range by adding active seeker in the missile. The Akash Mk 1 need continuous radar guidance to hit the target, a bit older technique. That means someone need guides the missile to hit the target, The Akash onboard computers can do the guidance work. Modern systems Like Barak 8 and Aster 15 controlled by on board seeker in the missile and uses Ground based Radar's guidance for high probability kill.
The Akash missile has the range of 30 kilometers, and can engage targets upto 59,000 feet and as low as 100 feet. Aksah can fly at the speed of twice of Sound, means more than 2.5 mach speed. the missile can sustain 15 G, gives it better maneuverability against highly agile aircraft. The the Akash warhead weights some 55 kg of fragmentation. With the use of ramjet engines, Akash can maintain top speed at all altitudes and maneuverable in any altitudes. The entire flight can be controlled by the command control computer and the controller can order the missile self destruct in mid air if missile was wrongly fired.
One Akash system comprises four launcher vehicles, each with three ready to fire missiles, means one system can fire 12 missiles at one go, However all need a guidance from the command computer, The system also comes with a Akash reloading systems, a Rajendra 3D CAR Radar for Target acquisition A fire control Radar, and a mobile Power generator to provide power to all the systems in the battery. and a command control center work as the heart of the System. some Akash comes systems with Rohini 3D CAR radar for additional support.
For Air force all the systems comes in a wheeled platform, each squadron consists of two akash Systems, and four Akash system comes as a Regiment under Army classification, one Akash System can cover an area of 5000 square Kilometers, with a probable reliability of 80 to 100% successful management rate. with the quick mobile configuration option the system can be deployed remote places and can be operated very quickly. with the Army, Akash systems comes in Tracked platform it can be deployed all over the tough terrains unlike the Air force's wheeled platform, all the systems in Akash is indigenous and tested in all tough Indian Conditions.
Compared to all other systems the Akash is much more cost effective, missiles are less than half a million dollars, unlike the western and Russian missiles costs double than the Akash.
The Indian Air force and Army tested the Akash missile extensively before inducting in the force, the trialss include command and control launch from Remote Control center, firing as a group of Missiles from different launchers. conducting tests in tough Electronic counter counter measure scenario's to kill more modern Fighters who uses advanced electronic counter measure systems. Striking nearby targets in very low altitude and Long range High altitude targets, and ripple firing missiles to strike a single target/Multi Target scenario, in all such scenario's Akash performed well and satisfies the users Evaluation trialss.
So far IAF has eight Squadrons of Akash missiles systems, and the Army has two regiments of Akash missiles, each regiments consists of six Squad of Akash systems