India successfully tests missile interceptor


New Delhi/Balasore : India Sunday successfully intercepted a mock enemy missile in a test launch of a specially developed high-speed interceptor missile, Advanced Air Defence (AAD), over the Bay of Bengal.

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As part of India’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme, defence scientists carried out the first launch of a single-stage interceptor missile against an electronic ballistic missile as target from the Wheeler Island near Balasore in Orissa, said an official spokesperson in New Delhi.

“The Endo-atmospheric interceptor missile intercepted and destroyed the enemy missile at an altitude of 15 kilometres in a copybook fashion validating the design of the Endo-atmospheric layer of India’s BMD system,” the spokesperson added.

The interceptor missile AAD was fired at 10.44 a.m. from Inner Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast, exactly two minutes after the electronics target, a derivative of Prithvi missile, was fired at 10.42 a.m. from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Chandipur, located about 120 km from Wheeler Island, said defence sources in Balasore.

Enthused by the successful test launch of AAD, officials in New Delhi said the interceptor missile met all the parameters of the BMD system and performed exactly in the manner envisaged in intercepting the incoming enemy missile at high supersonic speed.

Additionally, the high-tech instrumentation utilized in the test launch provided precise and accurate data regarding the performance of the interceptor missile, said the officials adding that this has given confidence to the scientists to proceed with the next test that shall see adversary ballistic missile being intercepted by Endo-atmospheric” interceptor missile.

The next test was expected to take place shortly, they added.

On Nov 27 last year, defence scientists had successfully conducted a similar Prithvi Air Defence exercise in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast, using a modified version of Prithvi to destroy an incoming target missile.

The AAD tested Sunday was a new missile and not a derivative or an update of any existing missile, the defence scientists at Balasore said adding that it was specially designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for this role.

In performance, the AAD is slightly better than US’ PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability) in interception, altitude and range against incoming ballistic missiles, they added.