Development of the Akash tactical surface-to-air missile system, the first indigenous SAM to be inducted into the Indian military (for both the air force and army), has been a valuable learning process for Indian engineers, according to deputy project director G. Chandramouli. He told delegates at this week’s “Challenges in Design and Development” seminar in Bangalore that it has involved solving many interlinked issues relating to various subsystems as well as ground systems, such as radars, launchers and control centers.
Akash is equipped with an integrated ramjet rocket propulsion system and has a 25-30-km strike range. It is supported by the Rajendra radar system, which can simultaneously track 64 targets.
“Fine tuning the designs and configurations of various elements requires appropriate technical and managerial decision-making skills,” said Chandramouli. “Development of tracked vehicle-based radars, control centers and missile launchers takes considerable time compared to wheeled-vehicle-based designs.”
The advantage, he explained, is that minimal modifications should need to be carried out on working configurations. “For mission mode projects, content of technology development may be kept at a minimum to avoid time over-runs and cost over-runs,” Chandramouli added.