India has embarked on research of the Akash anti-aircraft missile complex since the 1990s
Akash is considered a medium-range air defense system, developed on the basis of the technology of the 2K12 Kub (or SA-6) missile complex – dubbed the “Three Fingers of Death” of the Soviet Union.
Akash is developed by India’s state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The program is also involved in the development of the Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles, as well as the Prithvi ballistic missile.
The Akash interceptor missile has a launch weight of 720 kg (1,590 lb), a diameter of 35 cm (14 in) and a length of 5.78 meters (228 in). The design of the missile is somewhat similar to that of the SA-6 with four long tube ramjet inlet ducts mounted mid-body between wings.
Like the Russian SA-6 Gainful (2K12 Kub), the Akash missile utilizes an integrated ramjet-rocket propulsion system, which, after initial rocket motor burnout, provides sustained thrust for the missile throughout its flight until interception. The use of a ramjet propulsion system enables sustained speeds without deceleration throughout its flight. The Missile has command guidance in its entire flight.
Akash has a maximum range of 30km and a maximum ceiling of 18km, a maximum speed of Mach 2.5. On the upgraded Akash Mk.2 and Akash NG versions, the range has been increased to 40km and 80km, respectively.
The eyes and ears of each Akash complex is a phased array fire control radar called ‘Rajendra’, operating in the G/H-Band (4-8 GHz) band, with a tracking range of 60 km. The tracking range has been expanded to 3 times when combined with the BSR radar and 3D-CAR radar, with a tracking range of 100 and 180km. This combination significantly improves the ability to deal with targets that are applied stealth and low flying technology. Akash’s fire-controlled computer system can simultaneously track 64 targets, and attack up to 12 of them.
|Mass||720 kg (1,590 lb)|
|Length||578 cm (228 in)|
|Diameter||30 cm (12 in) – 35 cm (14 in)|
|Warhead weight||60 kg (130 lb)|
|Radio proximity fuze|
Optical proximity fuze (Akash-NG)
|Engine||Solid booster and integral rocket/ramjet sustainer motor Dual-pulse solid rocket motor (Akash-NG)|
|30 km (19 mi) (Akash Mk.1/1S) 40 km (25 mi) (Akash Mk.2) 80 km (50 mi) (Akash NG) (under development)|
|Flight ceiling||20 km (66,000 ft)|
|Flight altitude||18 km (59,000 ft)|
|Maximum speed||Mach 3.5|
|Mid-course: Command guidance with datalink|
Terminal: Active radar homing
|T-72 or BMP-2 chassis or Tata Motors Heavy Mobility Trucks|
|Transport||BEML–Tatra or Tata Motors Heavy Mobility Vehicle|