May 29, 2024
  • DRDO and Indian Navy recently successfully conducted a maiden flight trial of sea-based endo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the coast of Odisha.
  • India entered an elite club of nations with the capability to fire a Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) interceptor from a naval platform.
  • Prior to this, DRDO has successfully demonstrated land-based ballistic missile defence system with capability to neutralize ballistic missile threats, emerging from adversaries.

India’s Ballistic Missile Defence Programme

  • India launched the BMD program after Kargil war in 1999 to counter the enemy nation’s widening spectrum of ballistic missiles that usually delivered both conventional and nuclear warheads.
  • At present, the BMD system includes the endo-atmospheric Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor and the exo-atmospheric Prithvi Air Defence (PAD)

Advanced Air Defence Missile

  • Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile is for lower altitude interception.
  • Developed by the DRDO, with the Hyderabad-based Research Centre Imarat (RCI).
  • It was first tested in 2007 and designed to knock down hostile missiles in the endo-atmosphere at altitudes of 15-40 KM.
  • The endo-atmospheric missiles are the ones that operate within the earth’s atmosphere that covers an altitude below 100 KM.

Prithvi Air Defence missile

  • It was originally tested in 2006 and is capable of intercepting and destroying missiles at exoatmospheric altitudes ranging from 50 to 180 kilometres.
  • The Pradyumna interceptor has already replaced the Prithvi Air Defence BMD.
  • Exo-atmospheric missiles are capable of completing missions in the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
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