In a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two layered Ballistic Missile Defence system, India today successfully carried out its maiden Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) test-fire, meeting the mission's objectives.
"PDV mission is for engaging targets in the exo-atmosphere region at more than 120 km altitude," Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) said in a statement after the trial conducted on Odisha coast.
"Both the PDV interceptor and the two stage target equipped with motors were specially developed for the mission. The target, developed for mimicking a 'hostile Ballistic Missile approaching from more than 2000 km away', was launched at 0907 hrs from a Ship in the Bay of Bengal," it said.
"In an automated operation, radar based detection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy's ballistic missile. The computer network with the help of data received from Radars predicted the Trajectory of the incoming Ballistic Missile," it said.
PDV that was kept fully ready, took-off from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, once the computer system gave the necessary command for lift-off, the DRDO release said.
"The Interceptor guided by high accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System moved towards the estimated point of the interception," it said.
Once the Missile crossed atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR (Infrared) 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 moved to intercept.
"All events were monitored in real-time by Telemetry/Range Stations, at various other locations. The mission was completed and the interception parameters were achieved," said Ravi Kumar Gupta, noted defence scientist and Director, Directorate of Public Interface of DRDO.
All mission objectives were met, a senior DRDO official said, adding a significant milestone was achieved in the direction of developing a two layered Ballistic Missile Defence system with the successful trial.
Avinash Chander, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Director General of DRDO, congratulated the mission team.
A host of distinguished defence scientists and senior officials of DRDO were present for the PDV mission.
The interceptor, positioned at launch pad–IV of the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 kilometers from here, roared into the sky at about 9:10 AM to hit its target.
The target, mimicking an incoming enemy missile, was first test fired from a naval ship at 9:06 AM and after getting signals from the radars, the interceptor went into action.
Earlier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-- the premier agency that developed this sophisticated interceptor-- had successfully tested six interceptor missiles developed by it, both in endo-atmosphere (within 30 km altitude above sea level) and exo-atmosphere (above 30 km altitude).
The Prithvi Air Defence interceptor missile has already demonstrated its killing capability at an altitude of 50 km and 80 km while the Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile has smashed the target missile at an altitude of 15 km to 30 km.
Now the target is to achieve the interception at an altitude of above 100 km of a long range missile, defence sources said.