BHUBANESWAR: In a major breakthrough for DRDO, made-in-India interceptor missile capable of killing incoming enemy missiles in endo atmospheric region at low altitude successfully shot down one from multiple simulated targets on Thursday.
For the first time, the missile was fired against multiple land targets simulated electronically by the mission team comprising officials of the Indian Army. The missile attacked one after choosing it from a number of targets of 1500 km class ballistic missile.
The supersonic ballistic interceptor missile dubbed as Advanced Air Defence (AAD) was flight-tested from Abdul Kalam Island, a part of Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast at about 11.30 am.
Defence sources said a few minutes after the electronic targets were simulated, the interceptor guided by its on-board Inertial Navigation System (INS) received continuous feedback about the trajectory of targets from ground-based radars.
Subsequently, the radio frequency seeker in the missile selected one of the targets and the on-board computer provided command to launch the interceptor missile, which was auto-fired from a hermetically sealed canister, destroying the incoming object.
A defence official said the missile has demonstrated its killing capability paving way for its early induction. “Several tests of the missile conducted earlier were against single target. But this one was against multiple targets,” he said.
Long range and multi-function fire control radars successfully detected the missile from take-off and tracked it through its entire path. Trajectory of incoming targets were also continuously estimated by the guidance computer.
The fibre optic gyro-based INS, on-board computers, guidance and actuation systems and the critical radio frequency seekers used for the terminal phase have also performed excellently.
Indigenously developed by DRDO, the AAD interceptor is a single-stage missile powered by solid propellants. The 7.5 metre tall missile weighs around 1.2 tonnes and has a diameter of less than 0.5 metre. It is capable of destroying incoming hostile targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 km.
The DRDO has developed both high and low altitude anti-ballistic missiles. The test assumed significance as India plans to deploy a two-tiered Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system to protect its important cities and vital installations from enemy attack.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has congratulated the DRDO team and Indian Armed Forces for the achievement which will further bolster the national security.