NATIONAL

Hypersonic interceptor missile to be tested

HYDERABAD: As part of the plan to build a robust two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system, DRDO scientists are preparing for the launch of a hypersonic interceptor missile in a month. The missile will engage and destroy an incoming target missile at high altitudes in the “exo-atmosphere.”

On November 27, 2006, the DRDO successfully launched an interceptor missile to hit an incoming long-range ballistic missile in the exo-atmosphere at an altitude of 48 km. This was followed by another ‘direct hit’ of a target missile in the more difficult ‘endo-atmosphere’ at an altitude of 15 km on December 6, 2007, thus demonstrating the capability for establishing a sophisticated missile defence shield and catapulting India into an elite club of nations which possesses the technology. At the next launch, the interceptor missile will seek to destroy an incoming target missile at an altitude of 60-70 km.

While the target missile, a modified Dhanush, will take off from a ship in the Bay of Bengal, the interceptor, PAD-02 (a differently configured Prithvi surface-to-air missile) will be launched from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur.

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