India successfully tested an indigenously developed missile interception system by shooting down an incoming ballistic missile — a Prithvi variant — in Orissa on Sunday.
Prithvi, mimicking the enemy’s ballistic missile, was launched at 9.32 am from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur on sea in Balasore district, about 170 km from Bhubaneswar.
The advanced air defence interceptor missile was fired from Wheeler Island off the coast of Bhadrak district, about 70 km from Chandipur, five minutes after the target missile was fired.
The missile-tracking network consisting of long-range and multi-function radars and other range sensors positioned at different locations detected and identified the incoming missile threat.
“The interceptor intercepted the ballistic missile at an altitude of 16km and blasted the missile (Prithvi) into pieces. It was a textbook launch and all the events and mission sequence took place as expected,” said ITR director SP Dash.
Dash termed the flight test as a major milestone in the history of the country’s ballistic missile defence programme.
Many scientists witnessed the flight test. VK Saraswat, scientific advisor to defence minister AK Antony, congratulated the DRDO scientists and staff for the successful operation.