Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Thursday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile. The new missile is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile at low altitude. The missile, test fired from in Odisha, was the third supersonic interceptor test carried out this year in which an incoming ballistic missile target was successfully intercepted, within 30 km altitude of the earth’s atmosphere by an interceptor.
The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile. It is equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, some sources told Press Trust of India. The state-of-the-art interceptor missile has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.
The powerful ballistic missile defence system provides a two-layered shield – ‘exo’ and ‘endo’. This means that this system provides protection against both – ballistic missiles that are outside (exo) as well as inside (endo) the earth’s atmosphere. In an earlier test, the endo-atmospheric missile, capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 kms successfully destroyed the incoming missile.
The earlier two tests for the missile was conducted on March 1 and February 11. The tests are being conducted as part of efforts to have a full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.
Today, after getting signals by tracking radars, the interceptor AAD missile, positioned at Abdul Kalam Island –previously known as Wheeler Island — in the Bay of Bengal, roared through its trajectory to destroy the hostile target missile in mid-air in an endo-atmospheric altitude, defence sources said.
In its March 1st test, the interceptor missile was fired at a target in the form of a Prithvi missile (which played the role of a hostile missile) launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur.
The first test for the missile was conducted in February. During the test, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR Seeker dome opened to look at the Target location as designated by the Mission Computer. With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker the missile moved for interception. All events were monitored in real-time by the Telemetry/Range Stations, at various other locations.