BALASORE: After two consecutive failures Indian Armed forces on Friday successfully conducted twin trials of surface-to-surface anti-aircraft missile Akash from a defence base off the Odisha coast. The missiles destroyed the target as coordinated.
Defence sources said both the missiles were launched back-to-back within a gap of five minutes from the launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea. While the first one was fired at about 12.07 pm, the second missile blasted off at 12.12 pm. Prior to the launching of missiles a Pilot-less Target Aircraft (PTA) was flown from the launching complex-II.
The test was to gauge the flight consistency and effectiveness of the missile. The mission boosted the air defence shield of the country and re-validated the weapon’s operational efficiency. During the trial, the missiles aimed at intercepting a floating object supported by the PTA at a definite altitude over the Bay of Bengal.
ITR Director MVKV Prasad told this paper that both the trials were 100 per cent successful. “The missiles with live warheads destroyed the targets suspended from the PTA successfully,” he said.
This is the fifth test of the six-test series. The last test is scheduled for Monday. The twin success came after May 28 and May 30 failures. “There were some technical snags in the radar of the missile system which were rectified by the scientists. These were minor problems and it sometimes occurs during developmental and user trials, said claimed a defence scientist.
The entire flight of Akash was captured by electro-optical tracking systems. It can handle multiple targets with the help of a digitally coded command and guidance system. It is fuelled by solid propellants. It can also be fired from tracked vehicles. While its land variant was inducted in the army in 2008, the air force version of the missile was handed over to the IAF on March 3.