The AD-1 interceptor missile that completed its maiden test Wednesday is ‘a significant jump’ in the Indian military’s ability to protect the country from long-range ballistic missiles, Defence Research and Development Organisation chief Dr Samir Kamat told news agency ANI Thursday.
Dr Kamat said the Phase II BMD (ballistic missile defence) AD-1 can intercept any projectile of the 5,000 km-class.
“If enemies target (us) from long range, we now have the capability to intercept. It is a significant jump in our capability against ballistic missiles,” he said.
“Once our radars pick it (the enemy missile) up, it (the AD-1) will be able to track it… our defence system can be activated and (the) missile can be intercepted. It is mainly endo-atmospheric but also works in low exo-atmospheric region. We’re developing for high exo-atmospheric region.”
Once operational and integrated, the two systems will provide the country with a multi-layered defence against incoming ballistic missiles, defence ministry officials said. The system offers a hit-to-kill probability of 99.8 per cent.
The ministry said the AD-1 can also be deployed against enemy aircraft.
Propelled by a two-stage solid motor, the missile has advanced (indigenously developed) control, navigation and guidance systems to strike with precision.
The AD-1 – described by officials as a missile with a ‘large kill-altitude bracket’ – was test-fired from the APJ Abdul Kalam island off the Odisha coast.
Officials said ‘all systems performed as per expectations’.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh called the missile ‘unique’ and said it had technology ‘available only with a few countries’.