‘The sophisticated Akash missile was test-fired from launch complex-3 of Integrated Test Range at about 11.42 AM,’ defence sources here said.

 Describing the trials as ‘fully successful’, ITR Director M V K V Prasad said, ‘The whole exercise was carried out as part of a user trial by Indian Air Force.’

'Akash' is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defense system developed by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.

While the Air Force version has already been inducted, the Army version is in the final stage of induction into the armed forces, the sources said.

 The missile has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kgs. 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, they said.

 With its capability to neutralize aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles, defence experts compare 'Akash' to the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system of USA.

 The missile was last test fired from the same base on June 19.

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