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Advancing Air Defense: Akash-NG Set to Replace Older Akash SAM in India’s Armed Forces

Source : IgMp Bureau

Advancing Air Defense: Akash-NG Set to Replace Older Akash SAM in India’s Armed Forces

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has achieved a pivotal milestone in its air defense capabilities with the successful completion of developmental trials for the New Generation Akash (Akash-NG) missile system. This successor to the existing Akash system promises enhanced performance and versatility, reinforcing India’s air defense against aerial threats.

Evolution of a Mainstay

Initially tested in 1990, the Akash missile system has stood as a cornerstone in India’s air defense arsenal for over two decades. However, technological progress necessitated an upgrade. The Akash-NG, shedding weight, replaces the older Ramjet propulsion with a more efficient Dual Pulse Rocket motor. This not only reduces its weight from 720kg to 350kg but also enhances its maneuverability and agility.

Key Improvements

The Akash-NG introduces several key improvements:

  • Increased Altitude: It can now reach an altitude of 25 km, a significant improvement over the current Akash SAM’s 20 km ceiling.
  • Extended Range: Its operational range now extends to 30-50 km, surpassing the existing system’s 25 km range.
  • Enhanced Versatility: The new propulsion system and lighter weight enable it to engage diverse aerial threats.
Akash NG being flight tested cropped
Akash-NG Next Generation Surface to Air Missile System

Preparing for User Trials

Having overcome developmental challenges, the Akash-NG is now poised for user trials with the Indian Army and Air Force. These trials will involve real-world deployment scenarios, rigorously testing the system’s capabilities and validating its operational effectiveness.

DRDO, in collaboration with its manufacturing partner, has already produced nearly 3500 Akash missiles for India and Armenia. However, production will gradually transition to the Akash-NG within the next three years, contingent upon the success of user trials and subsequent orders.

Significance of Akash-NG

The Akash-NG signifies a critical advancement in India’s indigenous air defense technology development. Its deployment will strengthen the country’s ability to neutralize a broader range of aerial threats, ensuring the safety of critical infrastructure and personnel. More than just a new missile system, the Akash-NG underscores India’s commitment to self-reliance in strategic defense technologies.

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