India takes an important step towards ‘Ballistic Missile Defence Shield’ (BMD), test fires indigenous Supersonic ‘Interceptor’ successfully

Balasore: While the neighbouring countries such as  Pakistan and China have accelerated their missile programs, India has also been preparing to secure its airspace. The supersonic ‘Interceptor’ missile ‘Advanced Air Defence’ (AAD), developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully tested on Thursday. The capability of the AAD to hit more than one targets was tested during this test. This test is the first step towards development of the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence Shield (BMD).

The decision to deploy BMD to protect the main cities including Delhi and Mumbai was taken in the recently concluded Defence Acquisition Council meeting. It was decided to purchase the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-2 from the United States. But the other Ballistic Missile Defence Systems will also be on alert along with this. India is also trying to acquire Ballistic Missile Defence Systems from Israel and Russia. At the same time the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence Shield is being developed.

DRDO is working at two different levels on the BMD and they are ‘Advance Air Defence’ and the interceptor ‘Prithvi Defence Vehicle’. The BMD being developed will have two types of interceptors to destroy the incoming enemy ballistic missile at a height of 20 to 40 Km in the air. The United States, Russia and Israel are the only three countries who have succeeded in developing the BMD. Therefore, the AAD tested from the Balasore launching station in Odisha on Thursday is significant.

The AD missile 7.5 metres in length, weighing 1.2 tonnes is capable of targeting the enemy missile at a height of 40 Kms.

To improve the accuracy of the interceptor it has been equipped with advanced systems.  The AAD is equipped with ‘The Fibre Optic Gyro (FOG), Electro-Mechanical Activator’, ‘Critical Radio Frequency’ and ‘Advanced Radar and Navigation Systems’. The Interceptor can be launched from a mobile launcher. There have been three successful tests of the interceptor in the past. This is one more step by India towards development of the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence Shield.