Upgraded interceptor missile to be test-fired on April 6

A newly configured version of an interceptor missile, designed to improve its efficacy, will be test-fired against an electronic target missile from Wheeler Island on April 6.

As part of India’s plans to deploy a two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence system to protect important cities and installations, missile technologists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have conducted nine interceptor missile tests.

Six of the tests were conducted in the endo-atmosphere (below 40 km altitude) and three in exo-atmosphere (above 80 km). Eight of the tests were successful.

In the upcoming test to be conducted in the endo-atmosphere, the reconfigured version of the interceptor missile (AAD) would be launched to validate its capability to carry a bigger warhead and minimise the mis-distance, among other parameters. Another crucial feature — that of powering the missile when the target missile is detected with a reduced reaction time would also be tested during the mission.

Since the entire exercise from detection till the terminal event is automated, the crucial capability to power the missile after detecting the target would prevent unnecessary powering of the missile, while keeping it alert mode.

While an actual AAD missile would be launched after the take-off of a target missile is simulated on April 6, scientists plan to carry out another exercise by April end in which both the interceptor and target missile would launched with warheads in a real, battle-like scenario, DRDO sources told The Hindu here on Sunday.

The launch is to validate its capability to carry a bigger warhead and minimise the


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