Friday, March 18, 2011


India has once again proven its ballistic missile defence capability with its indigenously developed interceptor missile successfully destroying a hostile target ballistic missile in the Bay of Bengal. The trial consisted of firing an interceptor missile to destroy the incoming hostile ballistic missile at an altitude of 16 kilometres.

The trial was carried out from two launch sites of the integrated test range in Chandipur off the Orissa coast to develop a full-fledged, multi-layer ballistic missile defence system. The ‘hostile’ target ballistic missile, a modified surface-to-surface ‘Prithvi’ missile, was lifted from a mobile launcher at Chandipur, 15 kilometres from Orissa. As per the reports, in a few minutes the interceptor which was an advanced air defence (AAD) missile positioned 70 kilometres across the sea from Chandipur at Wheeler Island, received signals from radars installed along the coastline and destroyed the target missile while travelling at a speed of 4.5 Mach.

The AAD was a single-stage supersonic missile and the interceptor had its own mobile launcher, secure data link, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars. The interceptor had a specially designed directional warhead which homed-in on the target and caused maximum damage. The interceptor boasted new technologies such as directional warhead, fibre-optic gyroscopes and a radio-frequency seeker that guided the interceptor to attack the incoming enemy missile.

Defence scientists in the country are set to raise the bar for excellence by trying to shoot down a missile at an altitude of 150 kilometres later this year.

Defence scientists have been able to intercept a missile at an altitude of 80 km and are now planning to aim higher.

"The trials are expected later this year," VK Saraswat, Director General, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told reporters on the sidelines of the 98th Indian Science Congress in Chennai.

DRDO to shoot down missile at 150 km altitude

He said the DRDO scientists were also planning to raise the altitude for interception gradually to upto 300 km.

The DRDO-developed missile shield uses a system of long range radars and long-range missiles to shoot down incoming enemy missiles.