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India declares successful launch of Akash surface-to-air missile

India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation declared as successful a launch of its Akash surface-to-air missile fitted with an indigenous seeker on Tuesday, December 5.

“The Surface to Air Missile AKASH with indigenous radio frequency seeker against target Banshee, has been successfully launched from the Launch Complex-III at ITR Chandipur,” a press release said.

The test-firing was India’s first using a domestically developed target seeker. “With this success, India has achieved the capability of making any type of Surface to Air Missile,” the release said.

Akash is being inducted into the Indian Army as its short-range surface-to-air missile.

Akash is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile defense system that can target aircraft at a range of up to 30 kilometers at altitudes up to 18,000 meters. An Akash battery comprises a single passive electronically scanned array radar that can track up to 64 targets linked to four launchers containing three missiles.

According to the New Indian Express, the Indian Air Force successfully tested an Akash on November 28.

In July, the Comptroller Auditor General of India reported that about 30 percent of missiles failed when they were test-fired, and that the life-span of at least 70 missiles was reduced by more than three years.

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