- 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 exo–atmospheric 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.