Recently surface-to-air missile Akash, with indigenous radio frequency seeker, was successfully tested against target Banshee target drone and will enter Indian Army as Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SRSAM) after India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) cancelled the short-range surface-to-air missile system (SRSAM) competition early last year.

DRDO designed Akash was a medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems since it had capabilities to hit targets over 25kms while SRSAM Class missiles like SPYDER, TOR M1 and BAMSE SRSAM which were all participating in India’s SRSAM Competition carried a lower range of 15-20kms.

DRDO has tweaked Akash Air Defence system to be used to intercept low and close range targets like Drones, Helicopters and fighter aircrafts. According to Industrial sources close to, Akash can now effectively take down Small targets like Medium size Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as close as 200 meters from the launcher successfully. Addition of seeker is only going to improve accuracy and reliability of the missile system in close proximity to small targets.

Indian Army will induct and deploy DRDO developed QRSAM (Quick reaction surface-to-air missile) to provide air defence coverage to the mobile Strike corps, while Akash SRSAM along with Indo-Israeli MR-SAM will provide crucial Air defence coverage in stationed mode.

DRDO is also working on Next generation Akash MK2 which will come with Canister launcher and improved range of 35-40km to improve its mobility and also to act as a bridge between current Akash SAM (25km) and MR-SAM (70km).

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