A senior defence official said initially, the Government is contemplating to put the ballistic missile defence (BMD) system in place at least in New Delhi.
‘’The decision to implement the system will be taken likely this year after a couple of trials of the missiles in a coordinated manner,’’ he said.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed two-layered BMD systems to intercept targets at exo and endo-atmospheric (both outside and inside the atmosphere) regions. Both the systems have been test fired 13 times since 2006.
While Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), capable of destroying incoming targets at high altitude, was successfully test fired for the second time on February 11, ninth test of Advanced Area Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, which can kill the enemy missile at low altitude, was a great success on March 1.
“Both the missiles have undergone a series of tests and performed as expected. Prior to PDV tests, at least two tests of Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) were conduced. These are now foolproof systems,’’ the official claimed.
After successful implementation in Delhi, the system will be deployed to cover all other major cities and vital installations in the country. The interceptors can destroy incoming ballistic missiles launched from more than 2,000 km away. The missiles will work in tandem to ensure a hit probability of 99.8 per cent.
The DRDO has two phases of the BMD systems. While the phase-I interceptors are now ready for deployment, the phase-II missiles, capable of thwarting threats from enemy missiles with ranges of 5,000 km, are expected to be ready in next couple of years.
Meanwhile, the DRDO is developing a laser-based BMD system. The new interceptor can travel at the speed of sound and kill incoming missiles in less than one minute. It will have the flexibility to be fired from both airborne and seaborne platforms.
‘’We have already test-fired exo and endo interceptors separately. Preparation is on to test the two simultaneously at different targets before their deployment. Thereafter, we will go for the test of laser-based BMD system,’’ the officer added.