"The sophisticated Akash missile was test fired twice in quick succession from launch complex-3 of ITR at about 11.55 am and 12 noon," defence sources said.
Describing both the trials as 'fully successful', ITR Director M K V Prasad said the whole exercise was carried out as part of a user trial by the Indian Air Force. Each missile targeted a toe body supported by Pilot Less Target Aircraft (PTA) 'Lakshya', defence sources said.
"During the trial, each missile aimed at intercepting a toe body supported by a PTA flown a couple of minutes earlier from another launch complex, at a definite altitude over the sea," sources said.
Akash is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
While the Air-force version has already been inducted, the Army version is in the final stage of induction into the armed forces, they said. The missile has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kgs.
It has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously, they said. With the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles, defence experts compare Akash to the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system of USA.
The missile was last test fired from the same base on February 24, 2014.