TAG: GS 3: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
THE CONTEXT: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced a significant achievement in India’s defence capabilities, revealing the successful demonstration of the Akash missile system’s capability to engage four aerial targets simultaneously.
- This feat was accomplished at a range of 25 kilometers, marking a global first in the realm of missile technology.
- India’s successful demonstration positions it as the first country globally to achieve such a capability, utilizing a single firing unit to engage multiple aerial targets.
- The DRDO highlighted this achievement as a milestone, showcasing India’s advancement in missile technology and command guidance systems.
Test Conduct and Military Exercise
- The Indian Air Force (IAF), in collaboration with the DRDO, conducted the test, which took place during the ‘Astrashakti’ military exercise on December 12.
- The exercise was specifically organized by the Indian Air Force to showcase and validate various military capabilities.
Akash Missile System: Key Features
- The Akash missile system, designed for short-range surface-to-air defense, boasts a range of up to 25 kilometers.
- Its primary function involves safeguarding vulnerable areas and critical points from potential air attacks, making it a crucial component of India’s defense arsenal.
Export of Indian Defence Platforms
- India’s increasing prowess in defense technology is evident in its export of key platforms to friendly foreign nations.
- Alongside the Akash missile system, other notable defense platforms exported by India include the Dornier-228 aircraft, 155 mm Advanced Towed Artillery Guns (ATAGs), Brahmos missiles, mine-protected vehicles, armored vehicles, ammunition, thermal imagers, avionics components, and small arms.
Significance of the Akash Missile System
- The successful demonstration of the Akash missile system’s enhanced capability underlines India’s commitment to advancing indigenous defense technologies.
- The system’s capacity to engage multiple aerial targets simultaneously significantly bolsters India’s defense preparedness and strengthens its position as a key player in the global defense arena.
Implications for India’s Defense Strategy
- The Akash missile system’s successful test not only showcases technological advancements but also signifies India’s strategic focus on fortifying its defense mechanisms.
- With increased capabilities in missile technology and air defense systems, India aims to bolster its defense infrastructure and enhance its ability to counter potential threats effectively.
AKASH MISSILE SYSTEM:
- The Akash (sky) is a mid-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system built by India’s state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- The missile was developed under the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP).
- The programme also involved the development of the Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles, as well as the Prithvi ballistic missile.
- Two versions of the missile have been built for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army (IA).
- The first batch of the Akash missiles was inducted by the IA in May 2015. The first Akash missile was delivered to the IAF in March 2012. The missile was formally inducted into the IAF in July 2015.
- India’s achievement in demonstrating the Akash missile system’s capability to engage multiple aerial targets simultaneously marks a significant milestone in its defense capabilities.
- The successful test not only highlights technological prowess but also underscores India’s commitment to advancing indigenous defense systems and contributing to global defense solutions.