Amidst the reports of Pentagon’s claim that the defence capabilities possessed by the US, Russia and India are among the main factors driving China to modernize its nuclear forces, the DRDO has planned a fresh test of indigenous Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile dubbed as Ashwin in next two days.
An improved version of the indigenously developed endo-atmospheric (inside the atmosphere) interceptor missile likely to be test fired from a defence base off the Odisha coast anytime between Sunday and Monday is expected to ‘kill’ the target missile over Bay of Bengal.
DRDO sources said preparations are afoot at the Wheeler Island test facility for the fresh developmental trial of the ballistic missile. A team of scientists and technical staffs are camping at the launching complex for the mission which would boost the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield of the country.
A defence official said the missile will be launched from the launching complex – IV of Wheelers Island against another ballistic missile, a modified version of Prithvi weapon system, which would mimic an enemy missile. “This experimentation will be to observe the operational effectiveness of the high-speed interceptor missile and its killing precision. This anti-ballistic missile is considered as similar to the American PAC-3 system in terms of range and altitude of interception,” he said.
Developed by the DRDO, the 7.5 meters tall AAD interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data up-linked from the ground-based radar.
The updated version of the missile had nosedived into the sea within a few seconds after it took off from the mobile launcher on April 6 last year. Although it was again tested against an electronic target on November 22 last year, the actual test targeting a real missile was pending since then as the system was not ready.
While it will be the 12th test of the interceptor ballistic missile, a successful trial will pave the way for its induction in the armed forces. Earlier of the 11 tests, eight in the endo-atmospheric region (below the altitude of 40 km) and three in exo-atmosphere (above an altitude of 80 km), eight tests have been successful.
India has two-layered BMD system capable of tracking and destroying hostile missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth’s atmosphere. The success of the AAD test will strengthen India’s position in the very exclusive BMD club of US, Russia and Israel. Source
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