AD-1/AD-2 - Ballistic Missile Defence (Programme AD)
The Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defence system to protect from ballistic missile attacks. Interceptor missiles have been developed by DRDO as a strategic weapon against ballistic missile attacks. Successful trials of endo interceptor missile (AAD) and exo interceptor missile (PDV) were carried out in August 2018 and September 2018 respectively. Phase-I of the system will enable interception of missiles up to a 2,000-km range, which will be extended to 5,000-km range in Phase-II.
By maturing the PDV/AAD combination in Phase 1, India would be able to create capabilities against only missiles which have ranges not exceeding 2,000 km. While this will cater to the Pakistani threat until the near future, it would be rather inadequate against the full spectrum of Chinese MIRV threats. The DRDO is aware of these ground realities and in Phase 2 of the program, plans to develop two new anti-ballistic missiles. These Hypersonic missiles will be able to intercept threats with a range of around 5,000 km.
Two new anti ballistic missiles that can intercept IRBMs are being developed. These high speed missiles (AD-1 and AD-2) are being developed to intercept ballistic missiles with a range of around 5,000 km (3,100 mi). The new missile will be similar to the THAAD missile deployed by the US. These missiles will travel at hypersonic speeds and will require radars with scan capability of over 1,500 km (930 mi) to successfully intercept the target. On 6 May 2012, Dr V K Saraswat while confirming the completion of Phase-I added that Phase-II would be completed by 2016 to protect against missiles having range up to 5000 km. The new missiles (AD-1 and AD-2) will be similar to THAAD missiles deployed by the US and will require radars with scan capability of over 1,500 km to successfully intercept the target.
The AD-1 can intercept MRBM (Medium-range Ballistic Missile) targets with a range between 1000 to 3000 kilometers, while the AD-2 can intercept IRBM (Intermediate-range Ballistic Missile) targets with a range between 3000 to 5500 kilometers. Phase 2 interceptors will be hypersonic with speeds of Mach 6 to 7 hence they will take less times to intercept. These interceptors will be capable of intercepting missiles, with ranges greater than 5,000 km, which follow a distinctly different trajectory than a missile with a range of 2000 km or less. During their final phase, ICBMs rush towards their targets at speeds twice to that of IRBMs.
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