Akash is India’s medium range surface-to-air missile defense system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. The missile can target aircraft up to 30 km away, at altitudes up to 18,000 m. Akash can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms. Akash is said to be capable of both conventional and nuclear warheads, with a reported payload of 60 kg. A nuclear warhead could potentially give the missile the capability to destroy both aircraft and warheads from ballistic missiles. The missile battery is described as being able to track and attack several targets simultaneously.
An Akash battery comprises four 3D phased array radars and four launchers with three missiles each, all of which are interlinked. Each radar is able to track 16 targets simultaneously and control a launcher with 3 missiles. Hence it is reported to be able to detect 100 and track 64 targets and simultaneously attack any 8 of those targets at one time. The Akash system is comparable to the Patriot system, but unlike the Patriot, Akash is fully mobile and capable of protecting a moving convoy of vehicles. Like the Patriot, the Akash is really an air defence SAM which has been tested in a ballistic missile role. The system provides air defence missile coverage of 2,000 km².