DRDO lines up AAD test
By Hemant Kumar Rout | Published: 22nd November 2012 12:07 PM |
The DRDO is likely to carry out a developmental trial of its most sophisticated interceptor missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Friday.
The advanced air defence (AAD) interceptor missile will be tested from the launching complex - IV located in Wheelers Island near Dhamra in Bhadrak district. It is the eighth test of the interceptor missile developed under the India’s flagship Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme. The missile has the capability to kill an enemy missile at an altitude of less than 20 km.
While preparation for the scheduled test is on the full swing, the test team has received clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security Affairs and Launch Authorisation Board (LAB) of DRDO for the test. Scientific advisor to Defence Minister V K Saraswat has arrived here to oversee the launch preparation.
Defence sources said as per the programme the interceptor missile will destroy an incoming hostile missile mid-flight over the Bay of Bengal. This experimentation will observe the operational effectiveness of the indigenously developed high-speed interceptor missile.
“During the exercise, a Prithvi missile, modified to mimic a hostile ballistic missile will lift off from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur and will be destroyed in the endo-atmospheric region (at an altitude of 15 km) by the interceptor fired from Wheeler Island few seconds later,” said a defence scientist.
Scientists are working overtime for success of the mission as in 2010 two consecutive attempts made to launch the interceptor had turned futile though similar missions last year and in February this year were successful.
On March 14, 2010 while snags were detected in the fins of the AAD missile, next day the target missile deviated from the pre-coordinated trajectory for which the interceptor could not get command to be fired. Yet to get a formal name, this hypersonic interceptor missile is meant to be used in ‘endo-atmospheric conditions’.
Developed by DRDO, the 7.5 metre tall AAD interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data up-linked from the ground based radar. The missile weighs around 1.2 tonnes and has a diameter of 0.5 metre.
A ballistic missile can be targeted at all the three points in its parabolic trajectory - boost or launch phase, mid-course in space or terminal phase during atmospheric descent.
The reason behind developing the interceptor missile is to provide an air-shield to important Indian metros against hostile attacks. Besides, the missile would be moved closer to the Indo-Pak and Sino-Indian borders during crisis or wartime, sources said.