India deploys indigenous Akash SAM in Ladakh

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired AKASH-MK-1S missile from ITR, Chandipur, Odhisa on May 27, 2019.

India recently deployed Akash Missiles or Akash Air Defence System in  Ladakh region along the India-China border. Akash is an advanced, quick-reaction, surface-to-air missiles with a range of 30 km.

The deployment of Akash Air Defence System comes after China reportedly increased its fighter jets and helicopter activities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), de facto border of India and China.

“As part of the ongoing build-up in the sector, the air defence systems of both Indian Army and the Indian Air Force have been deployed in the sector to prevent any misadventure by the Chinese Air Force fighter jets or the People’s Liberation Army choppers there,” confirmed government sources to an Indian news agency.

Akash is a medium-range surface to air missile that can engage multiple targets from various directions. The all-weather missile can engage targets at a speed 2.5 times more than the speed of sound and can detect, track and destroy targets flying at low, medium and high altitudes.

The Akash missile defence system has been designed and developed as part of India’s 30-year-old integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP).  According to analysts, Akash missile is developed to keep fighter aircraft, helicopters and drones.

India’s Akash missile is loaded with a battery that can trail and attack numerous targets simultaneously; the missile can carry a warhead of 60 kgs and can hit the target up to 30 km.

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The Akash SAM is based on Soviet-era 2K12 “Kub” (NATO codename SA-6 Gainful) with semi-active radar homing missile and phased array fire control radar.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has reportedly installed the homemade Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) with a range of 30 km as part of strategic planning for a double layer tactic to guard critical resources and locations in the country.

The Akash air defence systems can be launched from static or mobile platforms and can take multi-target and destroy directional targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), fighter aircraft, cruise missiles and missiles launched from helicopters. The system also defends sensitive areas in all-weather circumstances against medium-range air targets being attacked from low, medium and high altitudes.

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