Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will this week formally induct the Akash Air Defence System into the Indian Air Force. Parrikar is set to travel to Gwalior on Friday for the formal handing over of the system. The system was indigenously developed by the DRDO and BEL is the production agency.
Indian Air Force has given an initial contract for eight squadrons of Akash defence system. Each squadron has two firing units each with four launcher. Each launcher has a capacity to fire three missiles in quick succession. The IAF has already deployed Akash at its bases in Gwalior, Hashimara, Tejpur, Jorhat and Pune. The missile system can target aircraft upto 30 km away, at altitudes upto 18,000 metres.
It has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles. It is in operational service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.