The trial of the missile was 'fully successful', ITR director M V K V Prasad told adding it hit a para-barrel target. The test-fire was a practice and evaluation trial for a new squadron and a repeat performance as the medium range missile had been test-fired successfully on Monday from the same test range. "Some more similar trials of the missile will be conducted in this week," he said.

Defence sources said the missile was test-fired from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur at about 3.22 PM. '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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