BHUBANESWAR: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) flight tested a high-speed interceptor missile from a defence facility off Odisha coast on Tuesday.
Defence sources said the indigenously developed missile capable of destroying enemy weapons at high altitude was fired against an electronic target in salvo mode from the Abdul Kalam Island at about 11.10 am.
In an automated operation, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) interceptor missile, which was kept fully ready, took-off once the computer system gave the necessary command for lift-off.
The interceptor guided by high accuracy inertial navigation system and supported by a redundant micro-navigation system moved towards the estimated point of the interception. The heat shield ejected after the missile crossed atmosphere and with the help of infrared seeker, the system moved for interception.
“The missile had a smooth take off from the launching complex-IV of the test facility. After a good cross over, it went off. Since an electronic target was used for the test instead of an actual target, the crossover validated the trial,” said a defence official.
The DRDO has developed both high and low altitude anti-ballistic missiles in a bid to provide two-layered aerial protection to major cities and vital installations. While the PDV interceptor missile can destroy incoming enemy weapon systems in exo-atmospheric region, the Advanced Defence interceptor missile has the capability to kill incoming missiles in endo-atmospheric region.
The test assumes significance as India plans to deploy a two-tiered Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system once the interceptors are inducted in the armed forces.
India is the fourth nation to have developed a robust BMD system after the US, Israel and Russia. It was fourth test of the two-staged solid fuelled PDV which can destroy incoming missiles of 5,000 km range.
While the interceptor missile was first tested on April 27 2014, the second trial was conducted on February 11, 2017. On September 23, the third test was conducted during night.