Indian Army Akash Prime Missile Regiment: The Indian Army will get two regiments a new and improved version of the locally designed and developed Akash Missile system, known as Akash Prime, to shoot down enemy aircraft and drones in high altitude area.
According to people familiar with the matter, the proposal is at an advanced stage before the government and will help in further strengthening the air defence of the country against aerial attacks from both the Chinese and the Pakistani sides.
The development is coming in the wake of the Indian Army‘s Western and South Western commands successfully completing nearly a dozen test firings of the existing variant of the Akash missiles.
According to sources, the results were outstanding despite the fact that the missiles used for the test firings had been deployed in an operational role during the recent conflicts.
India’s Akash Missile System
Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile system developed by India’s apex defence research organization – the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Akash missile is produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) while its surveillance and fire control radar, tactical control and command center and missile launcher are developed by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division and Larsen & Toubro.
The Akash missile system can target hostile aerial targets at a distance of up to 30 kilometers.
Akash Missile can destroy aerial targets such as fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.
Akash Missile vs Akash Prime Missile System
In September 2021, the DRDO test fired a new version of Akash Missile System called Akash Prime.
It intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking enemy aircraft, in its maiden flight. Akash Prime is based on the existing Akash SAM.
One of the main difference between the Akash Missile and Akash Prime Missile is that Akash Prime Missile System is equipped with an improved active radio-frequency (RF) seeker to further increase the accuracy.
Akash Prime is also optimized for low temperature and high altitude operations with modified ground system that is suitable for Kashmir and Ladakh region where Indian Army is facing the two adversaries on the country’s northern and western borders.
Also, in comparison with the existing Akash System, Akash Prime is equipped with an indigenous active Radio Frequency (RF) seeker for improved accuracy.
Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under low-temperature environments at higher altitudes. A modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon system has also been used.
Akash Prime Missile can be deployed at heights up to 4,500 metres and can take down targets at a distance of around 25-30 km.