India’s Iron Dome is the Akash Missile System

  • During the recent Exercise Astrashakti 2023, India showed the firepower of its Akash surface-to-air (SAM) weapon system, in which a single firing unit engaged and killed four unmanned targets at the same time.
  • Armenia, Brazil, and Egypt have expressed interest in procuring the Akash SAM.


Development and ProductionDeveloped by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), produced by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL).
TypeShort-range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM).
Engagement CapacityEngages four aerial targets at a range of 25 km from a single firing unit.
Target EngagementCapable of simultaneously targeting several threats in group or autonomous modes.
Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM)Protected against hostile jamming and evasion methods.
Mobility and AgilityConfigured for quick deployment and relocation on mobile platforms.
Operational UseIn service with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Range and AltitudeEffective range of 4.5 km to 25 km, with an altitude range of 100 meters to 20 km.
Physical DimensionsLength: 5,870 mm; Diameter: 350 mm; Weight: 710 kg.
Automation and ResponseFrom target detection to neutralisation, the system is fully automated and responds quickly.
System ArchitectureAdaptability to existing and future air defence environments is enabled via an open-system design.

Comparison with Israel’s Iron Dome

  • Interception Capabilities: Akash is sometimes likened to Israel’s Iron Dome due to its capacity to intercept UAVs, smaller munitions, helicopters, and aeroplanes.
  • While comparable to the Iron Dome, Akash is intended to defend against larger aerial threats such as aircraft rather than tiny rockets.
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