Indigenously developed interceptor missile launch tomorrow

Balasore: To establish a reliable ballistic missile shield, India will launch its indigenously developed interceptor missile from the Orissa coast on Sunday.

"Range preparation for the interceptor missile test is complete and it is likely to be taken up tomorrow from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) complexes off Orissa coast," defence sources said today.

The advanced air defence (AAD) interceptor missile, scheduled to be launched from Wheeler Island would destroy a modified `Prithvi` surface-to-surface ballistic missile, posing as a hostile one to be blasted from ITR launch complex-3 at Chandipur.

"The interceptor would be a single stage supersonic missile and try to hit the hostile ballistic missile in a maneuverable trajectory stage within seconds," said a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist.

The interceptor has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities as well as sophisticated radars.

The long-range tracking radars and multi-functional fire control radars have already been positioned in different places along the coast line, which ultimately would pass on signals to the interceptor soon after the hostile missile is launched and the interceptor, after analysing the target missile`s maneuverable trajectories, would hit it at a designated altitude over the Bay.

Of the total five earlier trials, DRDO has tested the interceptor missile successfully four times since its first test on November 27, 2006 both in exo-atmosphere (altitude of 50 to 80 km from earth`s surface) and endo-atmosphere (altitude up to 30 km from earth`s surface) conditions.

However, on March 16, 2010 it could not take off from its launcher as the target missile failed to come to the interceptor`s killer zone. The last trial held on July 26, 2010 from Wheeler Island was a success.