DRDO has conducted a successful maiden flight-test of Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) interceptor AD-1 missile with large kill altitude bracket from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
- The AD-1 is a long-range interceptor missile designed for both low exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interception of long-range ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.
- It is propelled by a two-stage solid motor and equipped with indigenously-developed advanced control system, navigation and guidance algorithm to precisely guide the vehicle to the target.
- India’s Ballistic Missile Defence programme is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defence system to protect India from ballistic missile attacks. It was launched in 2000 after Kargil War by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
- Testing was carried out and continuing as of 2006, and the system was expected to be operational four years from then according to the then head of the country’s missiles development programme.
- Two new anti ballistic missiles that can intercept IRBMs are being developed. These high speed missiles (AD-1 and AD-2) are being developed to intercept ballistic missiles with a range of around 5,000 km.
- The new missile will be similar to the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile deployed by US. These missiles will travel at hypersonic speeds and will require radars with scan capability of over 1,500 km (930 mi) to successfully intercept the target.
- As per reports which emerged in January 2020, the first phase of BMD program is now complete, and the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the DRDO are waiting for the government’s approval to install the missile shield for the national capital and will take three to four years to install shield after approval.