India today successfully test-fired a new interceptor missile capable of neutralising any incoming long-range missile at higher altitude.
The interceptor, positioned at launch pad–IV of Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 km 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. "The trial was conducted successfully and all the mission objectives were met," DRDO Spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta told PTI over phone. The details of the 'kill effect' of the interceptor missile were analysed after retrieving all the data from various radars and telemetry stations, an official said.
Earlier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is the premier agency to develop such a 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 stage (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.