India on 11 February 2017 successfully test-fired indigenously developed interceptor missile off the Odisha coast. The interceptor was launched from Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) of ITR at about 7.45am. During the test, the missile destroyed an incoming ballistic missile in a direct hit in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude of 50-kilometers.
The mission named as Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) helped in demonstrating the capability of India’s Ballistic Missile Shield (BMD), which is under development. With this test, India also entered an exclusive club of four nations that have capabilities of securing its cities and skies against hostile threats.
A Defence Ministry statement read, “At 07.45 hrs today, India successfully conducted a test wherein an incoming ballistic missile target was intercepted by an exo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the Bay of Bengal”.
During the test, this inceptor missile targeted and destroyed a ballistic missile with a range of 2000 kilometers at a height of over 50 kilometers. The ballistic missile, mimicking an enemy missile, was launched from an Indian Navy ship stationed in the Bay of Bengal.
As per reports, the weapon target was detected and tracked by the weapon systems radars. The computer network with the help of data received from radars predicted the trajectory of the incoming Ballistic Missile. The automated operation was performed without keeping a man in the loop.
The Ballistic Missile Shield (BMD) is being developed as a two layered system to tackle incoming targets at endo-atmosphere and exo-atmosphere. It is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).