India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Monday tested a new version of Akash Missile – 'Akash Prime'. The missile was successfully tested from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, in Odisha.
It intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking enemy aircrafts, in its maiden flight test after improvements.
"In comparison to the existing Akash system, Akash Prime is equipped with an indigenous active RF seeker for improved accuracy. Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under a low-temperature environment at higher altitudes," said an official.
The modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon system was for the flight test. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Army, Indian Air Force and other stakeholders on the successful trial of the Akash prime missile.
He said the successful flight test proves the competence of the DRDO in designing and developing world-class missile systems.
DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy also congratulated the team involved in the successful flight trial of the missile.
He said 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.
Earlier in an interaction, G Satheesh Reddy said it would fund upto Rs 10 crore for research projects to promote and develop innovative products.
"The DRDO has a scheme 'Technology Development Funding' to spend on young graduates, those who can join incubation centres and have an idea to convert into a design and a product and we'll support them with Rs 1 crore," he said.
Reddy was delivering the convocation address on Friday after handing over degrees to 293 students of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM), Kancheepuram, through virtual platform.
Noting that the country was looking for innovation from the youngsters, he said it is technology that can make the country prosperous.
"Come out with new technologies, innovate first-of-its-kind products. Our products have to go all over the world. The world should be flooded with products from India," said Reddy, also the secretary of the Department of Defence (research and development).
Maintaining that the product developed in the country with innovation should be priced lower but offer reliability, he said the quality of the product should be good only then could the product be sold the world over.
"That is how we will earn a lot of foreign exchange. And that is how the country becomes prosperous," he said. A country to become prosperous, the seed is with the institutes like IIITDM where people learn about technology, science and come out with design and manufacturing, he said.
"I would like to say that DRDO supports these things in a big way," he said.
Appealing to the new graduands, he said through the website of DRDO, a student or an institute can look for options to use the funds from the DRDO.