India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile in low altitude, from a test range in Odisha. This 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. “It was a direct hit and grand success,” Defence sources said after the test launch. The earlier two tests were conducted on March 1 and February 11, 2017, as part of efforts to have a full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system. “Today’s test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode and it was all success,” the sources said.
The target missile– a Prithvi missile– was launched from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here. 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. The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, the sources said. 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.