Air Defense: June 3, 2003


For twenty years, India has been working on developing its own medium range anti-aircraft missile. This effort is called the Akash. Last month it test fired it's Akash missile from its mobile launcher. The missile has a 25 kilometers range and carries a 110 pound warhead. The last test launch was in 2002, the first one was in 1990. The 1500 pound Akash uses a combination of Russian (mainly the SA-6) and European missile technology. The project has cost $160 million so far and has trained a generation of Indian engineers and scientists in how to develop military missiles. The Akash is expected to be read for service in a few more years.  Such long development times for anti-aircraft missiles are not unusual. The American Patriot missile spent over thirty years in development.


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