India on Thursday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile, capable of destroying any incoming hostile ballistic missile, from a test range off Odisha coast.
"The DRDO conducted the successful test of the Ballistic Missile Interceptor Advanced Air Defence (AAD) at 1130 hours today from Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha," a defence ministry statement said.
Describing the trial as a success, it said, "The mission objectives were successfully met".
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the Defence Research and Development on the successful flight test for further boosting the defence capabilities of the country.
". @DRDO_India successfully tested Ballistic Missile Interceptor Advanced Air Defence at 11:30 hrs today from Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha & all mission objectives were accurately met. The missile is capable of destroying incoming hostile targets at altitude of 15 to 25 kms," she tweeted.
The endo-atmospheric missile, capable of intercepting incoming targets at an altitude of 15 to 25 km was launched against multiple simulated targets of 1,500 km class ballistic missile, the release said.
One target among simultaneously incoming multiple targets was selected on real time, the weapon system radars tracked the target and the missile locked on to it and intercepted the target with a high degree of accuracy, it said.
The complete event, including the engagement and interception was tracked by a number of electro-optical tracking systems, radars and telemetry stations, the statement said.
The interceptor is a 7.5-metre long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator, sources said.
The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars, DRDO sources said.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa, witnessed the flight test along with other senior officials, the release said.
The interceptor, an advanced air defence missile which is yet to get a formal name, was positioned at launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range on Dr Abdul Kalam Island and roared on its trajectory to hit the target mid-air on sea surface, the sources said.
Developed as part of efforts to have a multi-layer ballistic missile defence system, it is capable of destroying incoming hostile ballistic missiles, they said.
"While the missile's major health parameters, including its 'kill' effect, have already been validated in earlier tests, today's test was to validate some improved features incorporated in it," the sources added.