India to re-test ballistic missile defence shield

April 11th, 2010 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, April 11 (IANS) India will conduct afresh the trial of its tactical ballistic missile in June to build a credible defence shield for intercepting and destroying incoming missiles, a top defence scientist said Sunday.
“We will conduct a flight test of the anti-missile system again in June to build the ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield against incoming medium or long-range missiles,” Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) Director-General V.K. Saraswat told IANS here.

Admitting that the earlier test conducted March 15 at the integrated test facility on Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast failed when one of the two rockets involved in the trial deviated off the course, Saraswat said investigation into the incident revealed that the system did not work and the target was missed due to fuel leakage.

“Analysis of the earlier trial revealed there was a leakage in the target missile leading to system failure. We are rectifying it to ensure the next flight test in June will hit the target and demonstrate our advance capability in developing the missile defence shield against any adversary missile attack,” Saraswat said on the sidelines of an event.

The fresh trial will also be conducted in the endo-atmospheric (within the earth’s atmosphere) region, at an altitude of 100 km, and subsequently in the exo-atmospheric (out of the atmosphere).

India plans to deploy the first phase of defence shield by 2012 after completing a series of trials and evaluating their target range.

“As in the previous trial, a target missile will be launched as an incoming missile and intercepted with another missile,” Sarswat, who is also the scientific advisor to the defence minister, said after delivering a keynote address at the aeronautical convention, organised by the Aeronautical Society of India.

The sophisticated ballistic missile defence system is built to thwart any incoming missile from entering the air space of the country within the earth’s atmosphere (endo-atmospheric) or outside the earth’s atmosphere (exo-atmoshperic).

The state-run DRDO has developed the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) system for endo-atmospheric interception and the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile for exo-atmospheric interception.

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