BHUBANESWAR: Nearly a month after Pakistan conducted first test of its medium-range
surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ababeel, capable of delivering multiple warheads, India is all set to test
fire an interceptor weapon system, which can effectively destroy incoming enemy missiles at low altitude.
The weapon, dubbed as advanced air defence interceptor, is likely to be launched from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast on Wednesday in full operational configuration. A part of the country’s
credible ballistic missile defence (BMD) programme, the interceptor is one of the best missiles in its class.
The missile was earlier scheduled for a test in November last year, but the trial was deferred due to some technical reasons. However, on February 11, the Defence Research and Development Organisation
(DRDO) had carried out second test of the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) interceptor missile, capable of killing incoming missiles at an altitude of more than 100 km at exo-atmospheric zone.
Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister Dr G Satheesh Reddy has arrived at the test facility to oversee the launch preparation. While range preparation for the test is near complete and the missile is integrated with the launcher, final round check-ups of the missile’s sub-systems are on.
“Range integration has been completed and count down already started for the trial. As per of the coordinated exercise, the interceptor will kill a target missile, fired from another location mimicking an enemy missile, mid-air,” said a defence official.
A successful test of the missile bears significance as the weapon system, which has been test fired at least eight times successfully, is likely to be inducted in the armed forces and deployed at strategic locations to protect the country’s cities and important installations from hostile attacks.
Developed by DRDO, the 7.5 metre tall interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system and an electro-mechanical activator under command
by the data up-linked from the ground-based radar. The missile is auto-launched after receiving commands from the radars on the incoming missile.
With an effective anti-ballistic missile system, India is the fourth country in the world to have a BMD programme. Other countries, which have developed a ballistic missile defence system, included
the US, Russia and Israel.
The defence official said though the BMD programme is triggered by growing arsenal of the neighbouring countries, India has been maintaining a no-first-use principle.