THE Defence Research and Development Organisation tested two missile systems Wednesday, which included a Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) for the Indian Army and a new variant of the Akash Surface-to-Air Missile — Akash-NG — for the Indian Air Force, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. In both tests, the mission objectives were successfully met by the missile systems.
In the case of Akash-NG, the system was flight tested from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha at 12:45 pm on Wednesday from a land-based platform. During the test, the weapon system elements such as Multifunction Radar, Command, Control and Communication System and launcher functioned in deployment configuration. DRDO scientists said the missile system has a range of close to 60 km and can travel 2.5 times the speed of sound (2.5 Mach).
The missile system has been developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Hyderabad in collaboration with several other DRDO laboratories. The launch was witnessed by representatives of the Indian Air Force. In order to capture flight data, ITR deployed a number of range stations like the electro-optical tracking system, radar and telemetry components. “The flawless performance of the entire weapon system has been confirmed by complete flight data captured by these systems. During the test, the missile demonstrated high manoeuvrability required for neutralising fast and agile aerial threats. Once deployed, the Akash-NG weapon system will prove to be a force multiplier for the air defence capability of the Indian Air Force,” a press statement from the MoD said.
Production agencies Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) also participated in the trial.
In the second weapon system trial on Wednesday, the DRDO flight-tested the indigenously developed low weight, ‘fire and forget’ type MPATGM. The missile was launched from a man portable launcher on a target that was mimicking a tank. The missile hit the target in direct attack mode and destroyed it with precision.
Most modern missiles can be fired in ‘top-attack’ and ‘direct attack’ modes. In the top attack mode, the missile is required to climb sharply after launch and travel at a certain altitude then plunge on top of the target. In the direct attack mode, the missile travels at a lower altitude directly striking the target.
In the MPATGM test, the system has been tested for its minimum range successfully. All the mission objectives were met and the missile has already been successfully flight tested for the maximum range of the system, the MoD said.
“The missile is incorporated with state-of-the-art miniaturised Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics. The test brings the development of indigenous third generation man portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile close to completion,” the MoD said.
Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh and DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy congratulated the DRDO teams and all other stakeholders involved in development, production and testing of both missile systems.