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Indian Army test-fires BrahMos, Akash missiles

The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile system (pictured above) is armed with an anti-ship warhead of weight varying between 200 and 300 kg. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The Indian Army test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and the Akash semi-mobile surface-to-air missile (SAM) in two separate exercises that took place in late March.

The BrahMos test was carried out by the Rising Sun missile unit of the Indian Army's Eastern Command in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. According to a social media post by Eastern Command, the missile hit the target “precisely”.

The Akash test was conducted by the 128 Air Defence Missile Regiment – also known as Sky Gladiators – of the army's Western Command at an unknown location.

According to the footage released by Western Command, the Akash missile was seen intercepting an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying at an altitude of 30 km during the test.

Both the drills were carried out to assess the operational readiness of the Indian Army to conduct operations with these missiles.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Artillery & Air Defence, Akash is a medium-range SAM system designed to cover a vast airspace and provide protection from various missile threats. Akash has a minimum range of 5 km and a maximum range of 30 km. Intercepts can be made against targets flying at altitudes between 300 m and 15 km.

The BrahMos is derived from Russia's Yakhont missile system, which is the export model of the domestic Russian P-800 Oniks (SS-N-26 ‘Strobile'). The missile is classified as a supersonic medium-range anti-ship missile. The Indian Army operates the BrahMos for coastal defence. The missile can hit targets at a maximum range of 290 km.

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