India today successfully tested a Star Wars-type interceptor missile that can hit an incoming ballistic missile, achieving a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system. The interceptor was launched from Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) off Odisha coast at 8 am this morning.
“PDV (Prithvi Defence Vehicle) mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km of earth’s atmosphere. Both, the PDV interceptor and the two-stage target missile, were successfully engaged,” said a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official, according to news agency PTI.
The target was developed for mimicking a hostile incoming Ballistic Missile launched from a ship anchored at Bay of Bengal and interceptor was launched from Kalam Island. In an automated operation, radar based tracking system detected and tracked the hostile ballistic missile.
This is DRDO’s latest test towards developing an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) shield, to protect Indian targets against nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles fired from Pakistan or China.
The DRDO, sources say, has been working to master this capability and this is now ready for use. This is an essential defence mechanism since both Pakistan and China have nuclear tipped ballistic missiles aimed at India.
This was only the second time the hostile Missile was intercepted at 100 km and sources say only a handful of countries have this similar capability.
Congratulating the scientists, PM Narendra Modi said, “Today our scientists have made a missile that could attack an incoming missile in the sky, only 4-5 countries in the world have done this.”