- Feb 16, 2009
India sucessfully tests Interceptor missile
Balasore: India on Friday successfully conducted the test of an interceptor missile to establish a ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield as part of the network-centric warfare.
The test was carried out from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from the Wheeler Island near Dhamra off Orissa coast.
ITR sources said the modified version of ''Dhanush'' missile, known as naval version of Prithvi, a surface-to-surface missile acting as an enemy missile was test fired from a naval ship INS Rajput anchored inside the Bay of Bengal at 1620 hours.
When it zeroed in on the wheeler island of Dhamara coast, a Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile, a ballistic missile with a range of 1,500 km, similar to Pakistan's Ghauri, test fired from the Wheeler Island intercepted the incoming missile at an altitude of 70-80 kms.
DRDO sources said the ''crucial test'' conducted for the third time proved the efficacy of a host of new technologies. The interceptor PAD missile has for the first time used the gimballed directional warhead which has so far been used only in the United States and Russia.
The first interceptor missile test was conducted on November 27, 2006 and waylaid an incoming ballistic missile in the exo-atmosphere at 48-km altitude.
The second test was carried out on December 6, 2007 against a target missile at 15-km altitude in endo-atmosphere, intercepting the ''enemy'' missile at an altitude of 70-80 km.
The ground tests of the missile have been done on the directional warhead but it was for the first time the test was done on flight.
Sources said intercepting a missile at a higher altitude of 80 km has the advantage as the debris will take longer to fall through the atmosphere before it hits the ground.
In a typical war scenario, this would reduce the effect of any fallout of nuclear debris and the risk associated with radiation.
The third test, sources said would be part of India's plan to deploy a two-layered ballistic missile defence (BMD) system in the coming years.