BALASORE: Wary of Pakistan’s new surface-to-surface, nuclear-capable missile Ababeel, with a range of 2,200km, India on Saturday successfully test-fired its interceptor missile off the Odisha coast.

The PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km of earth’s atmosphere, quoted a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official as saying.

Officials at Indian Defence Ministry have termed it “a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system.”

The interceptor was launched from Integrated Test Range missile testing facility on Abdul Kalam Island in eastern Indian state of Bhubanewswar, at about 7.45 AM.

“Both, the PDV interceptor and the two-stage target missile, were successfully engaged,” The Hindu quoted a Defence official as saying.

The interceptor’s target was developed for mimicking a hostile Ballistic Missile approaching from more than 2000 km away was launched from a ship anchored in the Bay of Bengal.

Pakistan military last month test-fired its new missile can deliver multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology. Ababeel Weapon System is aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment.

India’s PDV interceptor

In an automated operation, radar based detection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy’s ballistic missile. The computer network with the help of data received from radars predicted the trajectory of the incoming ballistic missile.

“PDV that was kept fully ready, took-off once the computer system gave the necessary command for lift-off. The Interceptor guided by high accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System moved towards the estimated point of the interception.

“Once the missile crossed the atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR Seeker dome opened to look at the Target location as designated by the Mission Computer.

“With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker the missile moved for interception. All events were monitored in real-time by the Telemetry/Range Stations, at various other locations.”

Missile Defence System

India has a double-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 boost India strengthen its position in the exclusive club of US, Russia and Israel.

The first phase BMD system capable of killing enemy missiles fired from 2,000 km away is expected to be inducted in the armed forces soon. Development is on for second phase anti-ballistic missile defence system, capable of destroying enemy missiles fired from 5,000 km away.

Developed by DRDO, the 7.5-metre tall interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data uplinked from the ground-based radar.