India carries out maiden flight-test of ballistic missile defence interceptor

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NEW DELHI: In a significant move, India on Wednesday successfully conducted the maiden flight-test of phase-II ballistic missile defence interceptor AD-1 that is capable of engaging different types of targets.

The defence ministry said the flight test was conducted from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha and it was carried out with participation of all ballistic missile defence (BMD) weapon system elements located at different geographical locations.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh described the missile as a “unique type” of interceptor having advanced technologies that are available with a very few nations in the world.

“Defence Research & Development Organisation conducted a successful maiden flight-test of Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) interceptor AD-1 missile with large kill altitude bracket from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on November 2,” the ministry said.

It said the AD-1 is a long-range interceptor missile designed for both “low exo-atmospheric” and “endo-atmospheric” interception of long-range ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.

It is propelled by a two-stage solid motor and equipped with indigenously-developed advanced control system, navigation and guidance algorithm to precisely guide the vehicle to the target, the ministry said.

The exo-atmospheric missiles are capable of completing missions in the upper-most region of the earth’s atmosphere.

The endo-atmospheric missiles are the ones that operate within the earth’s atmosphere that covers an altitude below 100 km, according to experts.

“During the flight-test, all the sub-systems performed as per expectations and were validated by the data captured by a number of range sensors including radar, telemetry and electro optical tracking stations deployed to capture the flight data,” the ministry said in a statement.

Defence Minister Singh congratulated the DRDO and other teams associated with the successful flight trial of AD-1.

He described it as a “unique type” of interceptor with advanced technologies available with a very few nations in the world.

Singh exuded confidence that it will further strengthen the country’s BMD capability to the next level, according to the ministry.

DRDO Chairman Samir V Kamat congratulated his team on the successful trial, stating that this interceptor will provide great operational flexibility to the users and have capability to engage many different types of targets. (PTI)