“It was like a ‘Star Wars’ scene,” was how a senior scientist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) described it.
He, along with other top missile technologists, was witnessing the blips of not just two but four missiles on radar data display screens in the Launch Control Centre at Wheeler Island during the interceptor ballistic missile test on Friday. Besides the physical interception of the attacker Prithvi missile by AAD Interceptor missile at a 15 km altitude, the screen also showed the electronic interception of another hostile incoming missile in the endo-atmosphere.
“It was a fantastic experience for defence scientists when the enemy missiles were tracked, followed, engaged and destroyed by two interceptors. It was an amazing scene as the four missiles were flying simultaneously,” said G. Satheesh Reddy, Associate Director, Research Centre Imarat, one of the missile complex laboratories.
He said teams from five centres participated in the successful mission, operating from Launch Complex-III at Chandipur, LCC at Wheeler Island, Mission Control Centre, Hyderabad and two radar centres — Long Range Tracking Radar, Konarak, and Multi-Functional Tracking Radar, Paradip.
As soon as the images of the two interceptors homing in on the “target missiles” were seen, celebrations broke out among the scientists and others.