India test-fires indigenous supersonic interceptor missile

India test-fires indigenous supersonic interceptor missile
India today successfully test-fired an indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile capable of destroying any incoming enemy missile at low altitude, a feat which reflects the country's Ballistic Missile Defence prowess.

The Defence Ministry said all the mission objectives were successfully met during the test-firing of the endo- atmospheric missile from Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha.

This the second time that the missile has been test-fired in less than a month and is part of an effort to put in place a multi-layer missile defence system.

"The endo-atmospheric missile, capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 km successfully destroyed the incoming missile. All the mission objectives were successfully met," the Defence Ministry said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar congratulated DRDO on the successful launch.

"The launch has proved the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) prowess of the country," the Ministry said.

Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and Director General (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy monitored the launch operation along with other top officials.

The Ministry said the complete event including the "engagement and destruction" was tracked by a number of electro-optical tracking systems using infrared imagery. Radars and telemetry stations tracked the target and the interceptor till the destruction of the target.

"Today's test launch was conducted in order to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode," a defence official said, adding it was a low altitude trial.

The interceptor was engaged against a target which was a Prithvi missile launched from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore, taking up the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.

The target missile was launched at about 10.10 hours from Chandipur.

After about four minutes the interceptor, Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile positioned at Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal, getting signals from tracking radars, roared through its trajectory to destroy the incoming hostile missile in mid-air, in an endo-atmospheric altitude, the official said.

"The mission was excellent and it was a direct hit," said a scientist of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

The interceptor is a 7.5-m-long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, the official said.

The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars, the official added.

On February 11, an incoming hostile ballistic missile target was successfully intercepted at high altitude, above 50 km of the earth's atmosphere by an exo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the Odisha coast.

Earlier, a low altitude (endo-atmospheric) test of AAD missile was successfully test launched on May 15, 2016 from the same base.

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