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Surface-to-air 'Akash' missile test fired successfully

Balasore (Odisha): India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed surface-to-air 'Akash' missile from a test range in Odisha as part of user trial by the Air Force.

"The sophisticated Akash missile was test-fired from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur at about 3.18 pm," defence sources said. Describing the trial of the missile "fully successful", ITR director M V K V Prasad told PTI that it hit a para barrel target.

"Some more similar trials of the missile will be conducted in this week," he said.

'Akash' missile is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system with a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kg. It has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously.

With its capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles, defence experts compare 'Akash' to the similar weapons of many other advanced countries, the sources said.

'Akash' has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. While the Air Force version has already been inducted, the Army version is in the final stage of induction, the defence sources said.

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