BHUBANESWAR : India on Saturday successfully test fired a state-of-the-art interceptor missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast, achieving a significant milestone in its ongoing Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme.
The homegrown anti-ballistic missile, dubbed as the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), flies at supersonic speed and is capable of destroying targets at altitudes of more than 120 km in the exo-atmosphere.
The interceptor missile was fired at about 7.45 am from the launch complex-IV of Abdul Kalam Island, a couple of minutes after the target, mimicking an enemy missile, took off from a warship anchored in the Bay of Bengal.
A defence official said the PDV interceptor, indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), destroyed the target missile at an altitude of 97 km.
The interceptor guided by high accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) and supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System (RMNS) moved towards the estimated point of the interception.
“After the missile shot through the atmosphere, the heat shield ejected and the infrared (IR) seeker dome opened to look at the target location as designated by the mission computer. With the help of inertial guidance and IR seeker, the missile zeroed in on the target for interception,” the official said.
The entire exercise, from detection to interception, was fully automated.
The DRDO has successfully test fired both exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interceptor ballistic missiles. The Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) interceptor missile has already demonstrated its killing capability at an altitude of 50 km and 80 km while the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile destroyed the target at an altitude of 15 km to 30 km.