India has effectively showcased the capabilities of its indigenous Akash surface-to-air (SAM) weapon system as part of its plans to export these systems. In the recent Exercise Astrashakti 2023, a single unit of this weapon system successfully engaged and obliterated four unmanned targets simultaneously.
This demonstration during the Air Force Exercise Astrashakti-2023 has established India as the first country to exhibit the ability to engage four targets at such distances simultaneously using command guidance from a single firing unit, according to defence officials who spoke to media services.
During Astrashakti 2023 at the Suryalanka Air Force Station on December 12, India showcased the potency of its homegrown Akash missile system. A single Akash firing unit successfully engaged four targets, which were unmanned aerial targets, simultaneously. This demonstration was carried out by the Indian Air Force (IAF), according to sources.
The officials described the trials, explaining that during the operation, four targets were approaching from the same direction in a tight formation before splitting to attack their own defence resources from various directions at the same time. They mentioned that the Akash firing unit was equipped with a Firing Level Radar (FLR), a Firing Control Centre (FCC), and two Akash Air Force Launcher (AAFL) launchers containing five armed missiles. They added that the FLR was able to detect and track the air scenario with four targets, which was then updated to a superior echelon.
The Akash Firing Unit was tasked with neutralizing the threat, and upon system prompt, the commander issued the firing orders in accordance with the system's capabilities. The unit launched two Akash missiles from two separate launchers, which were then reassigned to the next two targets. In a brief period, a total of four missiles were launched, successfully engaging all four targets at their maximum range of approximately 30 km simultaneously, as reported.
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