by Gabriel Dominguez & Rahul Bedi
Indian state-owned company Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) announced on 8 July that it has secured a INR4.99 billion (USD67 million) contract for the production and supply of additional locally developed Akash medium-range, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The deal was announced by Siddharth Mishra, the company's chairman and managing director, via Twitter, but no further details were provided.
BDL is the principal integrator of the 5.8-m long Akash missile, which is fitted with a 55 kg high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead equipped with a proximity fuze and stated to be capable of engaging multiple aerial targets such as combat aircraft and assorted missile systems out to a range of 30 km.
The system's locally designed electronics and Rajendra 3D phased array multifunctional fire-control radar are produced by public-sector company Bharat Electronics Limited, while private manufacturers Larsen & Toubro and Tata Power SED provide its tracked and wheeled launchers.
Similar to the Russian SA-6 Gainful two-stage, solid-fuel, low-altitude SAM, the all-weather Akash has a launch weight of 720 kg and a stated shot/kill probability of 88%. The missile is powered by an integral ramjet rocket propulsion system with inlet ducts mounted mid-body between the wings, enabling a strike speed of M2.5.
An Akash battery includes four 3-D Rajendra passive electronically scanned array radars designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are inter-linked and mounted on a detachable trailer towed by an Ashok Leyland 4×4 truck.
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