India today successfully tested its indigenously developed ballistic missile shield off the coast of Odisha and said it is readying to deploy the system in the National Capital Region for protection against hostile missiles.
As part of the exercise, it test-fired a supersonic interceptor missile which destroyed a 'hostile' ballistic missile off the Odisha coast.
"At around 1252 hours, the interceptor hit the target missile successfully at an altitude of 14.5 kilometres," DRDO spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta told PTI here.
India is working towards development of a multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.
"We are ready to deploy the system in the NCR region by 2014," DRDO's scientist and Director of the Missile Defence Programme Avinash Chander said.
The 'hostile' ballistic missile, a modified surface-to-surface 'Prithvi', mimicking an incoming enemy weapon, first lifted off from a mobile launcher at around 12.52 hours from the launch complex-3 of integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-Sea, about 15 kms from here.
Within about four minutes, the interceptor, Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile positioned at Wheeler Island, about 70 km from Chandipur, after getting signals from tracking radars, roared through its trajectory to destroy the incoming missile mid-air in an "endo-atmospheric" altitude, defence sources said.
Gupta said a simulated test was also done today to check the system and it was also successful. In today's test, the hostile missile was simulated to be a ballistic missile fired from the range of 1,500 kms, he said.
The interceptor missile is a 7.5-metre-long single-stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro- mechanical activator, the sources said.
The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities, besides sophisticated radars, they added.