Bangalore. 13 September 2019. Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, today, for procurement of Seven Squadrons of Akash Missile System for the Indian Air Force.
This is a turnkey contract with specialist infrastructure. The total value of the contract is Rs.5,357.00 Crores (Rupees five thousand three hundred and fifty-seven crores only) and the delivery will be completed in 3(three) years. These systems will be commissioned at seven Air Force locations spread across India.
Akash is a surface-to-air missile with an intercept range of 30 km. It has a launch weight of 720 kg, a diameter of 35 cm and a length of 5.78 metres. Akash flies at supersonic speed, reaching around Mach 2.5. It can reach an altitude of 18 km and can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms. An on-board guidance system coupled with an actuator system makes the missile maneuverable up to 15g loads and a tail chase capability for end game engagement. A digital proximity fuse is coupled with a 55 kg pre-fragmented warhead, while the safety arming and detonation mechanism enables a controlled detonation sequence. A self-destruct device is also integrated. It is propelled by an Integrated Ramjet Rocket Engine. The use of a ramjet propulsion system enables sustained speeds without deceleration throughout its flight. The Missile has command guidance in its entire flight.
The design of the missile has four long tube ramjet inlet ducts mounted mid-body between wings. For pitch/yaw control four clipped triangular moving wings are mounted on the mid-body. For roll control four inline clipped delta fins with ailerons are mounted before the tail. However, the internal schema shows a different layout with an onboard digital computer, no Semi-active seeker, different propellant, different actuators and command guidance datalinks. The Akash carries an onboard radio-proximity fuse.
The Air Force versions use a combination of tracked and wheeled vehicle. The Air Force Akash launcher consists of a detachable trailer which is towed by an Ashok Leyland truck, and which can be positioned autonomously. The Air Force launcher is designed by Larsen & Toubro jointly with DRDO. These launchers have three ready-to-fire Akash missiles each. The launchers can slew in both elevation and azimuth. The Akash Air Force Launcher (AAFL) is 360 degree slewable, in elevation it can fire from 8 to 75 degrees in all directions depending on the mode of deployment. Akash Air force launcher features an All electro servo drive system for fully automated and remote operation.