Wednesday, March 3, 2010

DRDO to conduct fourth test of interceptor missile

In less than two weeks, India will test its Ballistic Missile Defence shield again, by launching an interceptor missile to kill an incoming “enemy” ballistic missile mid-flight.

This is the fourth time that the Defence Research and Development Organisation will be testing its interceptor missile.

While the incoming missile will lift off from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore in Orissa, the interceptor will blast off from the launch complex on the Wheeler Island, off Damra village, said V.K. Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister.

A variant of the Prithvi missile will mimic the enemy’s ballistic missile trajectory. An Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile will confront and kill it, in endo-atmosphere, at an altitude of less than 20 km. The launch window is between March 10 and 15. The Prithvi is a single stage, surface-to-surface missile that uses liquid fuel. The AAD is a single stage anti-ballistic missile that uses solid fuel. It is 7.5 metres long.

The DRDO scored three successes in a row when its interceptor missile tests conducted on November 27, 2006, December 6, 2007, and March 6, 2009, were on the target.

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