On the heels of Pakistan testing Babur – a new cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons – India said on Wednesday that it is in the process of developing an anti-cruise missile system.
Giving details, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said it would take around three years to develop the system.
“Our interceptor capability can engage the cruise missile but we need to augment more systems like the air-borne tracking system before our anti-cruise missile capability is complete,” Dr V. K. Saraswat, Chief Controller (Research and Development) at the DRDO told reporters in New Delhi.
Pakistan had test-fired Babur, the locally-developed missile, which has a range of 700 km on Tuesday morning.
It is capable of carrying all sorts of warheads including nuclear bombs. The missile has near stealth capabilities, is a low-flying, terrain-hugging missile with high manoeuvrability, pinpoint accuracy and radar avoidance features.
The DRDO had successfully tested the endo-atmospheric interceptor missile, a part of the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) system, last week off Orissa coast.
Giving details of the system, Saraswat said, India will have its own missile defence shield ready in three years capable of securing India’s high value assets. One unit or “battery” of the system has a range of 200 square kms. “So for the National Capital Region including Delhi, we will need two batteries,” the missile scientist said but refused to divulge the costs involved in the system.
The Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system is two layered involving exo-atmospheric interceptor missiles and endo-atmospheric ones. It intercepts an incoming enemy missile at an altitude of 80 km or so and then again at about 15 km to ensure that the incoming missile is completely devastated.
In June next year, a test would be carried out to fire two missiles simultaneously at a single target to intercept it both in exo- and endo-atmospheric zones.