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Adding more firepower to India's missile arsenal, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday successfully flight-tested a new version of the Akash missile from the integrated test range at Chandipur in Odisha. The missile -- 'Akash Prime' -- intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking an enemy aircraft in its maiden flight test.

The flight testing took place at around 4:30 pm on Monday.

Akash Prime: 5 key things you should know

-In comparison to the existing Akash system, Akash Prime is equipped with an improved active radio-frequency (RF) seeker to further increase the accuracy.

-DRDO has also incorporated additions to make Akash Prime a more reliable performer under a low-temperature environment at higher altitudes.

-Akash Prime system will further boost the confidence of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force as the Akash system is already inducted and now getting improved with more lethal missiles. 

-The Indian Air Force has deployed Akash at its bases in Gwalior (Maharajpur AFS), Jalpaiguri (Hasimara AFS), Tezpur, Jorhat and Pune (Lohegaon AFS). 

Indian Army deployed Akash air defence system along Line of Actual Control in Ladakh as tension rose between India and China 2020 China–India skirmishes.

-The Akash Prime is a medium-range mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed by the DRDO and produced by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

The Akash SAM was developed to replace the Russian 2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful) missile system, currently in service. The Akash SAM, like the Russian 2K12 Kub, utilizes an integrated ramjet-rocket propulsion system, which, after initial rocket motor burnout, provides sustained thrust for the missile throughout its flight until interception.

-The missiles, developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) can be fired from a tank or a wheeled truck.

-The modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon system was for the flight test. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and other stakeholders on the successful trial of the Akash prime missile.

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