BHUBANESWAR: India on Wednesday test-fired a variant of the Prithvi-II missile to mimic an enemy projectile. This missile will serve as a target for the advanced air defence [AAD] interceptor missile to be tested by India in the next few days.
Today's test of the Prithvi-II variant, a surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missile, took place at the Integrated Test Range [ITR] at Chandipur-on-sea.
The target missile was tested today to gauge its performance ahead of the actual interceptor test in the next couple of days. In previous tests, the incoming missile had fallen short of target or had developed a snag with the result that the interceptor missile could not be tested properly.
The interceptor missile test will take place at Abdul Kalam Island. A defence official explained the routine: “The mimic missile will be launched from launch complex III first. A few minutes later, the interceptor missile will lift off from launching complex IV of Kalam Island after the command is received from the tracking radar."
The test is crucial as it will pave the way for induction of the advance air defence system into the armed forces. Deployment of interceptor missiles is meant to provide a protective missile shield to Indian metros.
India has a ballistic missile defence (BMD) system capable of tracking and destroying hostile missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth's atmosphere. With the two variants of the weapon system, india would enter a BMD club that includes US, Russia and Israel.