INDIAN MISSILE DEFENCE SYSTEM READY, SAYS DRDO CHIEF
Almost seven years after it began testing, India’s layered missile defence shield is ready for induction, according to DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat. The two-layered missile defence system, comprising an exo-atmospheric PAD interceptor and an endo-atmospheric AAD interceptor, is intended for area defence against long-range ballistic and cruise missile threats, and has been compared in performance by the DRDO chief to be on par with the US-built Patriot PAC-3 system, which itself has been on offer to India.
According to sources, the BMD system will first be deployed for the protection of the National Capital Region (NCR). Built to operate with a long-range tracking radar, the layered system works in two phases. In Phase 1 the AAD and PAD interceptors will provide defence against 2,000 km range targets. In the second phase, which will then be dovetailed with the existing phase, two new interceptors, designated AD-1 and AD-2, are being developed to intercept 5,000 km range targets. Technologies for the more complex second phase include kill vehicles with directional warheads, hypersonic aerodynamics, divert attitude control systems and IIR seekers using international collaboration. According to DRDO schematics, the unique system has a kill probability of 99.8 per cent with the potential launch of four interceptors, which involves destruction of target warhead before the right of initiation.
The AAD interceptor, incidentally, is also being developed for a cruise missile interception role, which involves