India successfully test-fires advanced interceptor missile

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In its effort to have a full fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, Ashwin, capable of destroying any incoming hostile ballistic missile.  

The missile was tested on the newly named Abdul Kalam Island located in the Balashore district off the Odisha coast. The test was the twelfth test of interceptor missiles fired from a warship in the Bay of Bengal. It should be noted that of the 11 tests held earlier, 9 were successful.

About the Test

The interceptor was engaged against a target which was a naval version of Prithvi missile launched from a ship anchored inside Bay of Bengal, taking up the trajectory of a hostile ballistic missile.

The target missile was launched at about 11.15 hours and the interceptor, Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile positioned at Abdul Kalam island (Wheeler Island) getting signals from tracking radars, roared through its trajectory to destroy the incoming hostile missile in mid-air, in an endo-atmospheric altitude.

Advanced Air Defence interceptor

Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile Ashvin  is the advanced version of low altitude supersonic ballistic interceptor missile. It has been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and is capable of destroying any incoming hostile ballistic missile. 

Features : The interceptor is a 7.5-metre-long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars

Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme

India began developing a multi-tiered ballistic missile defense (BMD) system in 1999, after the end of the Kargil War in reaction to Pakistan’s growing missile arsenal. A consortium of 40 Indian companies were involved in the development of the missile defense shield.

India’s BMD shield is a two-tiered defense system with the Prithvi Air Defense (PAD)/ Pradyumna Ballistic Missile Interceptor destroying missiles at exo-atmospheric altitudes of 50–80 kilometers (31–50 miles), and the Advanced Air Defense (AAD)/ Ashvin Advanced Defense interceptor missile endo-atmosphere at altitudes of 20-40 kilometers (12-24 miles).

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