Balasore, December 19(Odisha.in) Indian defence scientists today test-fired two surface-to-air Akash missiles from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 km from Balasore.
Defence sources said, these tests were fourth and fifth within a week. The multi-target nuclear capable missiles were fired in between 1.45 p.m. to 2 p.m. from the launching complex – II of the ITR.
“The two missiles targeted toe bodies suspended from an Italy made pilot-less target aircraft (PTA), which was flown minutes before the launch of missiles,” said a source.
On Saturday, the missile however reportedly destroyed a PTA while targeting a toe body suspended from it. These tests were to gauge the flight consistency and fine tune the sophisticated missile.
“The entire flight of Akash was captured by electro-optical tracking systems. One more test will be conducted this week. At the end, we will assess how everything went,” said a defence scientist.
Akash is a medium-range surface-to-air missile and it can reach targets 25 km away. It is essentially an anti-aircraft weapon.
The 5.8-metre-long sleek missile has a launch weight of 700 kg and can carry a warhead of 50 kg. The missile is crucial to India’s air defence programme as it will be used to counter ballistic missiles and enemy aircraft.
It can handle multiple targets with the help of a digitally coded command and guidance system. It is fuelled by solid propellants. It can be fired from tracked vehicles.