DRDO to Conduct Missile Defence Test

By admin • June 11th, 2010

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India defence online, New Delhi – The Defence and Development Organization (DRDO) is all set to test a new missile interceptor by the end of this month from Balasore.

The new missile is called PDV which will do away with liquid fuel stage and will have two solid fuel stages. Chief of DRDO Dr. V.K.Saraswat said that the PDV will be the mainstay of the defence shield.

According to DRDO, the PDV is a modified version of stage 1 missile interceptors which can shoot down intermediate range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) of upto 2,000 kilometres range. The PDV will replace the Prithvi Air Defense missile (PAD-1) exo-atmospheric interceptor missile for intercepting targets outside the atmosphere.

The new PDV will be armed with a ‘kill vehicle’ which destroys the enemy missile and equipped with an innovative system to allow the missile to maneuver at altitudes approaching 30 kilometres, where the air is thinner.

DRDO officials explained that this newly developed missile shield uses a system of long range radars and long-range missiles to shoot down incoming enemy missiles. Since end 2006, the system has been tested successfully three times but unfortunately the fourth test in March this year was a failure. For the test planned in June, it will be tested against an ‘enemy’ missile 100 kilometres away.

In March, DRDO indicated that the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System is being developed in two phases under a capability based deployment plan.

In the first phase, which is currently underway, DRDO will develop and deploy a system for defence against missiles with less than 2,000 km range like Pakistan’s Ghauri and Shaheen missiles. The PDV is a part of that phase.

In the second phase, system capability will be upgraded to defend against missiles with ranges greater than 2,000 km that can additionally deploy decoys or manoeuvres.

Phase 1 system will be deployed within one year and Phase 2 system will be ready by 2016.

The Phase 2 missiles will be in the class of the THAAD or Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missiles deployed by the United States as part of its missile shield beginning this year.

According to DRDO, the phase 2 of the ballistic missile system will be a challenging task because it calls for detecting Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) coming at twice the speeds of intermediate range missiles.

Besides requiring bigger interceptor missiles flying at hypersonic speeds of between six and seven times the speed of sound, it also needs radars to detect incoming ICBMs at ranges of over 1,500 kilometres as opposed to the current detection ranges of over 600 kilometers.

source: india defence online

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