Defense Minister AK Antony will hand over the first batch of the indigenously designed and developed Surface-to-Air Missile, Akash, to the Indian Air Force at a function in Hyderabad on Saturday, March 3. Antony will also hand over the advanced light-weight torpedo, TAL to the Indian Navy.
The Akash Weapon System (AWS) was indigenously developed by DRDO as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Developement Program (IGMDP) and is an all-weather, medium-range, Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system. It provides multi-directional and multi-target area defense.
The Akash missile can be launched from static or mobile platforms providing flexible deployment. The system can handle multiple targets and destroy manoeuvring targets such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), fighter aircraft, cruise missiles and missiles launched from helicopters. It can operate autonomously, and engage and neutralize different aerial targets simultaneously.
The Weapon System is considered as the Indian "Patriot", says DRDO. It has certain unique characteristics like high mobility, all-the-way powered flight till target interception, multiple target handling, digitally-coded command guidance and fully automatic operation. The AWS consists of a Launcher, a missile with a 25 km range, control centre, multifunction fire control radar and supporting ground equipment.
The missile has a launch weight of 720 kg and carry a 55-kg payload. It can fly at a speed of up to Mach 2.5 and climb up to an altitude of 18 km.
A wholly indigenous weapon system being built by the Defense PSU Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), the Akash SAM systems will be the mainstay for Air Defense of the Country up to the 2030s and beyond.
The Light Weight Torpedo has been indigenously developed by the National Science and Technology Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam. It is an electrically propelled, self- homing Torpedo which can be launched both from ships and helicopters. It can hunt submarines with a speed of 33 knots with endurance of six minutes in shallow and deep waters. The Torpedo weighs around 220 kgs. BDL is manufacturing the Torpedoes at its Visakhapatnam Unit.
BDL, an ISO 9001:2008 Company was established in the year 1970 as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under Ministry of Defense, Government of India. Over the years, the Company has progressed to become a multi-product and multi-location entity and is now the Prime Production Agency for Missile Systems, manufacturing a wide variety - from Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) to Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs).