Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources say that they have moved a proposal to the government on building Mark II of the Akash missiles that will be upgraded by a longer range and sophisticated seeker.
Currently, the indigenously built Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) has a radio frequency proximity fuse which gets triggered as it is pointedly targeted at a flying object at a range of about 25 kms.
But the new plan includes increasing the range from that level to a point below the level of the recent Indo-Israeli Long Range SAM (LR-SAM). While the DRDO sources were chary about discussing the details of the new proposed Aakash Mark II as “the government’s clearance is awaited,” but they say that the seeker will be based on infra-red imaging (IIR) or microwave based.
This will not only increase the SAMs lethality but it will also help the troops manning these batteries to ‘fire and forget’ kind of a mode. The IIR seeker will pick up the heat signature of the aerial threat and target it while the microwave based one will lock on the offending object through the radar signatures of the object.