India showcases Akash missile system’s multi-target capability in Astrashakti 2023

Akash missile system

New Delhi: In a bid to boost its defense exports, India has displayed the prowess of its indigenous Akash surface-to-air weapon system in a recent exercise called Astrashakti 2023. The exercise, conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) at Surya Lanka Air Force Station on December 12, featured a single-firing unit of the Akash missile system that simultaneously attacked and destroyed four unmanned aerial targets.

A first-of-its-kind demonstration
According to defense officials, India has become the first country in the world to demonstrate the ability to engage four targets at a time by command guidance using a single firing unit. This means that the Akash missile system can effectively counter multiple threats from different directions simultaneously.

The officials told ANI that the demonstration aimed to showcase the operational readiness and effectiveness of the Akash missile system, a medium-range, mobile, surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

How the exercise was carried out
The officials explained that during the exercise, four targets were launched from the same direction and then split to attack different defense assets from multiple directions simultaneously. The targets were assigned to the Akash firing unit, which was deployed with five armed missiles along with a Firing Level Radar (FLR), a Firing Control Center (FCC), and two Akash Air Force launchers (AAFL) launchers.

Akash missile system

The commander issued firing commands when the system indicated readiness as per its capability. Two Akash missiles were launched from two launchers and the same launcher was assigned to the next two targets. Four missiles were launched within a short period and all four targets were successfully engaged simultaneously at maximum range (about 30 km).

The officials said that the exercise demonstrated the high accuracy, reliability, and lethality of the Akash missile system, which can provide air defense coverage for vital assets and areas against a variety of aerial threats.