The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has decided to increase the range of the Aakash Surface to air missile (SAM), one of its successful programs, and provide it with a ‘seeker’ in its warhead to achieve better targeting efficiency. Reliable sources in the DRDO are not willing to divulge too many details about these two important elements – the range and the seeker – just yet.
The Indian army and air force has ordered an unspecified number of missiles at a combined cost of Rs 23,000 crores ($3.8 billion). And experts believe that as the traditional air defense systems like Russian systems like Pechoras legacy systems are phased out, the demand for Aakash systems will increase.
Till now the Aakash SAM system could reach ranges of the nature of 25 kilometers and target aircrafts. It had a radio frequency proximity fuse. The increased range will means an ability to target faster moving aircraft.
The 700-kg Akash missile can carry a 60-kg warhead at speeds of up to Mach 2.5. It can be launched from a fixed as well as a mobile platform.