If all goes well India is all set to join the elite league of countries which have an indigenously built Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield. India took a major leap in this regard on Thursday with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully testing the endo-atmospheric Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile in a multi-target scenario off the coast of Odisha. United States of America, Russia and Israel are the countries which have successfully developed and deploy an indigenous BMD shield. The single stage solid rocket-propelled AAD interceptor missile passed its fifth test with flying colours as it succeeded in intercepting a dummy enemy missile at an altitude of 40 kilometres. The Prithvi missile launched from complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur served as the dummy or target for the test fire of the interceptor missile. The interceptor missile had earlier been test fired by DRDO on March 1, 2017, February 11, 2017, December 28, 2017 and July 14, 2018.
India plans to build a two layered BMD shield which will come in handy in times of war and other adverse situations where it will act as a deterrent for the hostile enemies. The two layered BMD shield will shoot down enemy missiles at a height of 20 to 40 kilometres after their re-entry into the atmosphere. The AAD remains within the earth’s atmosphere at an altitude below 100 kilometres. The AAD interceptor missile being developed by DRDO India is a 7.5 metre long single stage solid rocket propelled missile which has a guided missile with a navigation system, a computer and an electromechanical activator according to sources. The AAD interceptor missile built by DRDO has its own mobile launcher, a secure data link for ensured interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.
According to the sources, the efficiency of the AAD was on full display off the coast of Odisha where the test took place on the 2nd of August. The Prithvi missile which served as the target was launched from complex 3 of the ITR at Chandipur. The interceptor missile got its signals from the radar and it flew off from its mobile launcher which was positioned at Abdul Kalam Island, previously known as Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal. The interceptor missile sped through its trajectory and destroyed its target the Prithvi missile, mid-air in an endo-atmospheric altitude. The test fire done by DRDO was successful as the AAD shot down the dummy missile after choosing from multiple simulated targets.
It will be a huge boost for India and DRDO when the AAD is included in the army after complete satisfaction of the army units and DRDO scientists. Even China which spends exponentially more on defence has not been able to develop an indigenously built BMD shield till date. A huge boost for the morale of Indian forces will follow the deployment of the AAD which is going to happen sooner than later.