NEW DELHI: In a major capability boost, India can now destroy incoming enemy ballistic missiles fired at it from 5,000 km with the successful test firing of the AD-1 missile launched for the first time on Wednesday off the Odisha coast.
The missile AD-1 is part of the phase 2 development programme of the Ballistic Missile Defence shield and can destroy both ballistic missiles and low-flying fighter aircraft.
"We initially developed the phase 1 capability to destroy incoming missiles of 2,000 km. Yesterday's test now helped us to intercept any missile of the 5,000 km strike range," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman Samir Kamat told ANI.
"If our enemies target from long range, we now have the capability to intercept. It is a significant jump in our capability against ballistic missiles," he said. The DRDO chairman said that once own systems pick it up, "It will be able to track it, our defence system can be activated and missile can be intercepted."
It is mainly endo-atmospheric but it also works in the low exo-atmospheric region. We are parallelly developing for high exo-atmospheric region. "By 2025, we should be able to prove our capability, including this AD-1 missile as well as the high exo-atmospheric missile. We are fully confident of making this by 2025," Kamat said.
Once the system is developed, the government will take a call on its deployment at different locations. The entire BMD system includes long-range tracking radars which can detect the launch of missiles from submarines, land-based systems, aerial platforms or warships.