India has successfully conducted an interceptor missile test off the Odisha coast on Sunday night, achieving a major milestone in developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, defence sources said. The interceptor was launched from Abdul Kalam Island, earlier known as Wheeler Island of the Integrated Test Range (ITR), at about 8.05pm, the sources said.
This Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km of the earth’s atmosphere, a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist said. “Both the PDV interceptor and the target missile were successfully engaged,” DRDO sources said. In an automated operation, radar-based detection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy’s ballistic missile.
The computer network with the help of data received from radars predicted the trajectory of the incoming ballistic missile. The PDV that was kept fully ready took off once the computer system gave the command for lift-off. The interceptor guided by high-accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System moved towards the estimated point of the interception, the sources said.
Once the missile crossed the atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR Seeker dome opened to look at the target location as designated by the mission computer. With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker the missile moved for interception. All events were monitored in real-time by the Telemetry/Range Stations, at various other locations. Interceptor was successfully test fired last from the same base on 2017.