First, a modified surface-to-surface 'Prithvi' missile lifted off from the integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-Sea, that is about 15 kms away from here.
Nearly four minutes later, the supersonic interceptor was launched from Wheeler Island after radars tracking the 'Prithvi' missile sent signals. The AAD missile destroyed the incoming 'Prithvi' at an "endo-atmospheric" altitude.
"At around 12.52 hours, the interceptor hit the target missile successfully at an altitude of about 15 kms," Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta told PTI.After the test, a DRDO scientist said, "The 'kill' effect of the interceptor is being ascertained by analysing data from multiple tracking sources." DRDO director general Vijay Kumar Saraswat supervised the interceptor missile's launch.
The length of the single-stage AAD missile is 7.5 metres. Guided by a rocket that uses solid propellants, the interceptor is equipped with an electro-mechanical activator, hi-tech computer and navigation system.
According to Defence sources, the AAD missile has a special mobile launcher and secure data link that enables it to intercept incoming enemy missiles. Thanks to sophisticated radars, the interceptor can independently track the hostile missiles and home in on the same.
The sources said that yesterday's trial of the AAD missile was conducted "to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode".
Till date, eight trials of the AAD have been conducted. The interceptor was last test-fired on Feb 10. That trial was successful too. India is developing the interceptors to protect major cities from missile attacks.
(with PTI inputs)