Air Defense: December 18, 2004

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On November 26th, 2004, India tested one of its locally developed Akash surface-to-air missiles. This past Summer, it looked like the Akash would be cancelled, and a foreign missile purchased. But after 15 years of development, Akash proved impossible to kill. So the tests will continue and, unless the tests are a major failure, the system will go into production. The Akash system is basically an upgraded Russian SA-6 system. Each 1,543 pound missile has a 132 pound warhead, a range of 27 kilometers and can kit targets as high as 49,000 feet, or as low as 66 feet. India wants to built a version of Akash for use on ships, and is already looking into a longer range (60 kilometers) version. India has spent over $165 million developing Akash, so far. 

 


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