Kill vehicle, a critical aspect: Saraswat

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: V.K. Saraswat, DRDO Director-General and Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, said on Sunday that the DRDO had already scored a hat-trick in the past few years, when three of its interceptor missiles (kill vehicles), developed as part of the Ballistic Missile Defence Programme, ripped apart “enemy” ballistic missiles in direct hits mid-flight.

“Developing the [anti-satellite] kill vehicle is the most critical aspect, because the satellite signatures and the ballistic missile signatures are different,” he said. But he added: “I am not building any [anti-satellite] weapon as on today. But I will have all the building blocks ready,” for space security would be a major issue in future.

A fourth interceptor missile test, scheduled for September, would try to bring down an “enemy missile” at an altitude of 120-140 km, he said.

Propulsion technology

The DRDO was keen on bridging the gaps in propulsion technology for battle tanks and aircraft. It was already building the indigenous Kaveri engine for Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. The engine had performed exceedingly well in high-altitude tests in Russia, Dr. Saraswat said. “We want to use the Kaveri engine for the advanced medium combat aircraft. It will also power ships.” The Tejas now flies on General Electric engines.

A naval version of Tejas was getting ready. This twin-seat aircraft would be able to take off from and land on India’s aircraft carriers.

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