AAD missile interceptor fails to hit target

Balasore: Unable to reach its target, the updated version of indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) ballistic missile interceptor failed a test from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here today, a senior Defence official said.

The interceptor missile was test-fired from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast in Bhadrak district, but it plummeted into the Bay of Bengal seconds after the lift-off. “It took off as planned but it did not reach the target. We are analysing the data,” ITR director M.V.K.V. Prasad said.

According to sources, the missile was fired to intercept an actual target, mimicking a modified Prithvi missile. The ballistic interceptor missile was flight-tested by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in bid to strengthen India’s fire power.

The 7.5-metre-tall AAD interceptor was a single-stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator. These facilities were totally under the command of the data up-linked from the ground-based radar.

The missile weighed around 1.2 tonne and had a diameter of 0.5 metre. The Monday test was against an electronic target to validate the missile capability. It was first test-fired from Chandipur in 2006.

With the latest mission, the DRDO has tested the missile interceptor 10 times with eight of the tests being successful. The interceptor missile had last failed to hit the target missile during a similar test from the same base on July 26, 2010.