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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

PDV (Prithvi Defence Vehicle)

India conducted a successful test of a new interceptor missile as part of developing the country’s new Ballistic Missile Defense system, local media reported on 11 February 2017, citing a Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) official. The missile, called PDV interceptor, was launched from Abdul Kalam Island at approximately 7:45 a.m. local time (2:15 GMT), the PTI news agency said. It is capable of destroying targets at a high altitude of more than 120 km in the exo-atmospheric region.

"PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 km [30 miles] of Earth’s atmosphere. Both, the PDV interceptor and the two stage target missile, were successfully engaged,” the unnamed official told the agency. The target of the interceptor was launched from a ship in the Bay of Bengal, more than 2000 kilometers away from the Abdul Kalam Island.

In an automated operation, the radar and tracking system detected the target missile, predicted its trajectory and gave the requisite command to fire the interceptor missile. The interceptor guided by high accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) and supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System (RMNS) moved towards the estimated point of the interception.

After the missile crossed the atmosphere, the heat shield ejected and the infrared (IR) seeker dome opened to look at the target location as designated by the mission computer. With the help of inertial guidance and IR seeker, the missile zeroed in on the target for interception. From detection to interception, the entire exercise was fully automated and there was no human intervention. The PDV interceptor is a part of a multi-layered BMD system developed by India to protect its cities from hostile attacks.

This was DRDO's latest test towards developing an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) shield, to protect Indian targets against nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles fired from Pakistan or China. The DRDO has been working to master this capability and this is now ready for use. This is an essential defence mechanism since both Pakistan and China have nuclear tipped ballistic missiles aimed at India.

The PDV interceptor is a new missile developed by the DRDO as a replacement for the PAD missile, which is a part of the Indian two-layered ballistic missile defense system. The system includes two interceptor missiles – PAD/PDV for high altitude interception and AAD Missile for lower altitude interception. Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) interceptor missile has already demonstrated its killing capability at an altitude of 50 km and 80 km while the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile has destroyed the target at an altitude of 15 km to 30 km.

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Page last modified: 12-02-2017 14:52:54 ZULU