Akash-NG (new generation) surface-to-air missile – Key Facts

The maiden test launch of the Akash New Generation (Akash NG) surface-to-air missile (SAM) was successfully conducted. Akash NG was test-launched at Balasore, off the Odisha coast.

Key Points

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army already operate 9 batteries of Akash missile.
  • Akash-NG is an improved version and a new generation SAM which is engineered to shoot down extremely high-performing fighter aircraft.
  • Akash NG has a brand-new rocket motor which is also its major advantage.
  • This new motor gives it a longer range of 30 km and the ability to generate a high terminal velocity.
  • The completely indigenous seeker head of Akash NG makes it even more deadly. This locks onto the enemy aircraft and continuously guides the Akash NG warhead to its impact point with the target.
  • The seeker head of Akash NG has been developed by the DRDO laboratory, Research Centre Imarat (RCI).
  • Akash NG detects enemy aircraft at ranges out to 80 km. By the time the enemy aircraft is 50 km away, the Akash NG’s computers have calculated the launch trajectory and impact point, and the missile is launched.
  • The rocket has also been re-engineered and has been brought down to a sleek body weighing 350 kg compared to previous missiles of 700 kg.
  • This weight also allows Akash NG launchers to carry more than the three missiles.

As of now, the Indian Air Force has inducted seven units of the Akash missile and the Indian army has inducted two units and another two are in order.