At DefExpo 2022, India’s DRDO introduced the missile launcher platform for Akash-NG.
Akash-NG is the remarkable new generation surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force for intercepting high maneuvering low RCS aerial threats. And now it will be deployed more flexibly and mobilely on a new wheeled platform. At DefExpo 2022, India’s DRDO introduced the missile launcher platform for Akash-NG.
Akash-NG or Akash-New Generation, is a short-range mobile surface-to-air missile system, with a range of up to 30 km. According to the newly released images, the mobile launcher system is built on a 10×10 military truck chassis, with six canister missiles placed at the rear. According to the manufacturer, the system has an elevation range of 20-70° and an azimuth range of 360°, and it is capable of reloading two canister missile stacks in 10 minutes. When a single missile is launched, the system’s reaction time is 10 seconds from target acquisition by the command-and-control unit.
The core of the system is six Akash-NG missiles. It is the successor to the Akash and Akash-1S series of missiles with improvements such as a Dual-pulse solid rocket motor, and an AESA Multifunction targeting radar to improve its probability of kill with a smaller ground operations and logistics footprint.
The missile uses an Ku-band Active radar seeker which was revealed to the public during Aero India 2021. Akash-NG will have an improved reaction time and higher level of protection against saturation attacks. The second stage will use dual-pulse solid rocket motor which is lighter instead of air-breathing solid ramjet engine present in the earlier Akash and Akash-1S missiles to increase the overall range while also reducing the weight of the platform. An active electronically scanned array Multi-Function Radar and optical proximity fuze will improve the effectiveness of the missile against targets with low radar cross-section.
According to reports, Akash-NG has been successfully tested. The most recent test was on July 23, 2021 off the coast of Odisha in Balasore. The test was carried out amidst inclement weather conditions proving the all-weather capability of the weapon system. The flight test has validated the functioning of complete weapon system consisting of the missile with indigenously developed RF Seeker, Launcher, Multi-Function Radar and Command, Control & Communication system. It is expected that Akash-NG will soon be commissioned for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.