Amid China border conflict, IAF testfires 10 Akash missiles to ‘shoot down’ enemy fighters
Amid threat from the Chinese Air Force on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the ongoing conflict, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out around 10 testfirings of the home-grown Akash air defence missiles to validate different scenarios to shoot down enemy aircraft that may violate the Indian air space during conflicts.
The testfirings conducted at the Suryalanka testfiring range in Andhra Pradesh last week were highly successful as a majority of the Akash missiles fired at the targets scored a direct hit.
“Around 10 Akash missiles were fired by the Air Force during the Combined Guided Weapons Firing 2020 exercise to practice different engagement scenarios during conflicts to shoot down enemy planes. Most of the missiles scored a direct hit at the target,” government sources told ANI here.
The IAF tested the Akash missiles and the Igla shoulder-fired air defence missiles during the exercise. Interestingly, both these systems are at present deployed along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and other sectors for taking out any enemy aircraft trying to violate the Indian air space.
The Akash, sources said, is one of the most successful indigenous weapon systems and would be fulfilling the desire of the defence forces to fight wars with indigenous weapons.
The missile was recently upgraded and is being equipped with a seeker which will help it to take down targets with greater ease than before.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been working on the Akash Prime missile system which will make it capable of engaging with targets at very high altitude locations too.
The DRDO also has made modifications to make the system more effective during the ongoing conflict, where the Chinese are deploying their so-called stealth planes like the J-20 fifth-generation fighters.
Due to the integration of the missile system with other systems, the stealth features of the missile have gone up significantly and can surprise enemy fighter jets equipped with anti-radiation missiles.
The Cabinet Committee on Security recently cleared seven squadrons of the missile systems for ?5,500 crore for the Air Force.
The force will deploy these missile systems on the borders along with Pakistan and China to maintain a strict vigil against enemy aircraft, drones, and surveillance aircraft.
Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defence system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited and Bharat Electronics Limited.