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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Indian defence scientists plan low atmospheric missile interceptors

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Dec 4, IRNA
Buoyed by a successful missile interception in higher atmospheric zones, defence scientists are now planning to shoot down incoming warheads much closer to ground with a new missile named PAD.

The country's top missile scientist, Vijay Kumar Saraswat, told a press conference here Saturday that "within the next three to four months the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is planning to carry out another missile interception in the endo-atmospheric zone" -- a pattern used by the Americans in the development of their Patriot PAC-III anti-missile shield.

"We have demonstrated the technology to defend against incoming ballistic missile threats," he said, but added it would take another three to four years for the country to develop a full-fledged anti- missile threat shield.

Saraswat's announcement comes in the midst of recent criticism of the DRDO, which has been accused of allowing "heavy time and cost overruns" in critical projects.

He admitted that the PAD was still a technology demonstrator and said it would need another half-a-dozen tests to validate it as a missile shield.

The scientist said tht in any future indigenous missile shield, India would have to have a mix of exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interception capabilities to match short reaction threats.

He ruled out the possibility that India might opt out of trying to acquire either the American or Israeli anti-missile system, saying "we are only at the beginning and at this stage co-development or outright acquisition cannot be counted of."

Saraswat is the chief controller of the country's missile program and project director of the Air Defence missiles, whose team successfully carried out India's first ever surface-to-surface missile interception in the exoatmospheric zone on November 27.


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