Roshan Writes: On 22 November, India successfully test fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming missile at an endo –atmospheric altitude. This is the continuation of tests conducted by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under India’s Ballistic Missile Defence Programme. India had planned to develop a multi-layered ballistic missile defence system to protect India from incoming ballistic missile attacks, both from exo as well as endo –atmospheric altitudes. This test was conducted to mainly see the various parameters in flight mode for Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interceptions. The ‘kill’ effect of the interceptor was being ascertained by analysing data from multiple tracking sources,” a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist said soon after the test was carried out and the interceptor was a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi—tech computer and an electro—mechanical activator, the sources said. This AAD missile positioned at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) destroyed an electronically prepared target in endo-atmospheric altitudes. The ADD missile is a solid fuelled rocket having a supersonic speed has a range of 150-200 kms and has been launched from TELs (Transporter Erector Launcher)
India had started developing its Ballistic Missile Development programme in 1998. India had planned for a two-tier system consisting of apart from ADD, the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile system to intercept targets at higher altitudes. After a number of tests conducted in 2006, 2009 and 2011 the first phase became operational in 2012. It is stated that the second phase will become operational by 2016. DRDO plans to develop two new ballistic missiles, namely AD-1 and AD-2, in phase 2 of the missile shield development. The AD-1 and AD-2 interceptors can engage Intermediate-range ballistic missiles / intercontinental ballistic missiles.
India is also negotiating with Russia for its advance S-400 Triumph surface-to-air anti-ballistic missile system. The Russian system is believed to have the capability to overcome threats at low and very low flight altitudes, it deals with reduction of target signature due to pervasive use of stealth technology, increase in target quantities due to widespread use of UAVs and have the capability to defeat advanced Jammers employed by opponents.
Since increasing number of nations are deploying missiles like IRBMs and TBMs, the adversaries are developing the shield of BMD to counter this threat. The economic and the operational success of this niche technologies can be debated but until a comprehensive plan for universal disarmament is not developed, nations will continue to develop new strategies to maintain the deterrence level.
India test-fires indigenous developed interceptor missile, The Hindu, 22 November 2015
DRDO Ballistic Missile Defence System, India,army-technology.com at http://www.army-technology.com/projects/drdo-bmd/
S-400 Triumph, Air Power Australia,at http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-S-400-Triumf.html#mozTocId155470