The Indian Akash SAM System

The Indian Akash SAM System (Sanskrit: आकाश Ākāś “Sky”) is India’s medium range surface-to-air missile defence system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The missile can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. Akash can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms.

Each Akash battery consists of four self-propelled Launchers (3 Akash SAMs each), a Battery Level Radar – the Rajendra, and a Command post (Battery Control Centre). Two batteries are deployed as a Squadron (Air Force), while up to four form an Akash Group (Army configuration). In both configurations, an extra Group Control Centre (GCC) is added, which acts as the Command and Control HQ of the Squadron or Group. Based on a single mobile platform, GCC establishes links with Battery Control Centres and conducts air defense operations in coordination with air defense set up in a zone of operations.

The Indian Akash SAM System

(Image is a BMP-2 Akash launcher)

Each Akash battery can engage up to four targets. Each battery has four launchers with three missiles each, with each Rajendra able to guide four missiles in total, with a maximum of two missiles per target. Up to a maximum of four targets can be engaged by a typical battery with a single Rajendra if one missile is allotted per target.

Production of the missile started in 2009 and both T-72 and BMP-2 chassis’s are being used to build the launching platform’s on.