On 5th December 2017,the above poster was issued by Ministry of Defense of India.
The Poster says: “With successfull launch of Surface to Air missile Akash, India achieves capability to make any type of Surface to Air Missile”
Was this a small statement?
So how was the 5th December test differenent, than any other missile test?
In short answer it had a indigenous seeker. Only critical component that was so far being imported. This version of the Missile
This test was marked one more “CHECK” in the drafted motives of “Integrated Guided Missile Developement Programme of India”
The entire missile developement of this great country India roots back itself to early 1980s. Back then the Prime Minster was Smt. Indira Gandhi, the War of 1965,1971 though were victorious for India but were not without too much sacrifices of Braves. Some sacrifices would have been saved had this country had some indigenous capability to produce guided Missile. This created a need to produce all kinds of guided missiles be it ballistic, anti ballistic, cruise, anti tank, SAM, SSM,ASM etc indigenously. Hence in 1983 Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam was inducted in DRDL from ISRO to guide this programme. This programme got solid backing from all goverments that succeded the centre.
The Surface to Air missile category was Spear headed by the “Akash SAM”. Later on joined by QRSAM, SRSAM/MRSAM, PDV,ADV in the club.
The developement of Akash missile was started in mid to late 80s. But when in 1988 & 1989 we tested Agni and Prithvi missiles, the then unofficially existing MTCR regime became active. After that MTCR imposed many bans on Indian Missile Programme and one of the thing was that was denied to us by the USA was the phase shifters for PESA Radar for Akash SAM. This gave rise to the Rajendra Radar. Yet first flight took in early 90s. The 1998 Nuclear called another stricter Ban on India, hence almost all defense research went to a all time slow speed. Finally in 2009 Akash SAM was officially inducted in Indian Armed Forces. But meanwhile in these 15-16 years the strong vision we used to hold in late 80s faded away due to sanctions, unstable and slack governments, poor funding and brain drain add to it over proportionate imports somewhere faded the strength of the vision. We became the largest importer of foreign arms. This version of Akash was the Akash-1.
In 2014 the newly elected government lead by PM Narendra Modi, they introduced the “Make In India” campaign. A new DPP was formulated, DPP-2016 clearly gave the top priority to Indigenous System over Imports even if it is little more costly than imports. This gave a boost to the indigenous defense industry to work on the existing problems with Akash. All this while till 2017 all the problems of were figured out, the GoI further went ahead supporting the project and cancelled the SRSAM deal in favour of Akash SAM. Two regiments will be procured worth 2Bn$. Now certainly this is clear that now since the Akash 1S is ready, the new regiments will now get the rectified version 1S over Mk1.
Now coming to the Future plans, the new version will be different from the fromer one in the following way:
- Extented Range
- Solid Propellants
- New Avionics
- Fully AUtomated.
The New version will be called as Akash NG.
Hence it is evident from the facts produced here that despite hurdles and hiccups and a little support from leadership India can pretty well develope itself any field whatsoever. All it needs a little support and backing. That way the a real “Self Reliance” can be achieved.