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10:42 AM, November 29, 2017
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Akash missile displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi (Image: Reuters)

The Indian Air Force has test fired home-grown Akash supersonic surface to air missile against an electronic target from a defense test facility off Odisha coast in India Tuesday. The IAF will conduct another test against an actual target on Wednesday.

The missile was fired from the Launching Complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR). The entire flight and point of interception was captured by the electro-optical tracking system, Indian Express reported quoting an unnamed defense official as saying Tuesday.

The trial assumes significance as India is planning to deploy a squadron of Akash along the North-East border. The missile will be test fired against an actual target on Wednesday.

"The sub-sonic and re-usable aerial target system is remote controlled from the ground and designed to impart training to both air borne and air defence pilots. It will be used as a target for Akash mission on Wednesday," informed the official.

Earlier in July this year, the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) had observed that 30 percent of Akash missiles supplied to the Indian Air Force were found to be faulty.

"The larger issue is that 30 per cent failure rate of the sample tested puts a question mark on the reliability, based on which 95 per cent of the payment was already done", the CAG had said.

CAG had also discovered that a life-span of atleast 70 missiles have decreased by three years owing to the fact that there was lack of storage facility. Approximately each each missile is worth a few hundred crores.

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