The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday successfully tested an interceptor missile, further validating the reliability of the under development, two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) in shooting down enemy missiles.
Defence sources said the endo-atmospheric missile, which can intercept missiles at ranges of 15-30 km, was launched at 10.15 a.m. from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast in response to an incoming ‘enemy’ missile, which was launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur.
The missile intercepted the incoming missile at an altitude of 15 km scoring a direct hit, a source said.
Last month, the DRDO carried out a successful test of the exo-atmospheric interceptor missile destroying a target outside the Earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of over 85 km. Research Centre Imarat (RCI) of the DRDO, which had played a role in the development of all strategic missiles, has speared the design and development of the BMD programme.
The BMD consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) for exo-atmospheric ranges and the Advanced Area Defence (AAD) missile for endo-atmosphere or lower altitudes.
The BMD is critical to protect the country from long-range ballistic missiles proliferating in the neighbourhood. DRDO expects to have the shield ready for deployment by 2022.
The entire operation was monitored and executed by the mission computer with human intervention. The entire sequence of events was monitored by radar and monitoring systems, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry systems, officials said.