Chandipur-on-sea (Orissa): India's indigenously built Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile, capable of destroying hostile in-coming ballistic missiles, was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island off the Orissa's east coast on Monday.
"The interceptor destroyed target missile at an altitude of 15 km," said Integrated Testing Range Director, SP Das.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) also sees it as a major success for India's indigenous air defence system.
However, the defence sources said that "the trial, scheduled in last mid-March 2010, was abandoned in the last hour twice (on 15th and 16th March) due to some problems".
Today's test-fire was carried out from two different launch sites of the Integrated Testing Range (ITR).
The target missile, a modified indigenously built "Prithvi", was first lifted off from a mobile launcher from the ITR's launch complex-3 at Chandipur-on-sea.
Minutes later, the interceptor missile getting signals from the hostile missile immediately reacted and swept in to action from the Wheeler's Island, to intercept it at an altitude of 30 km in mid-air over the Bay of Bengal off Orissa coast.
Yet to get a formal name, the new hypersonic interceptor missile is only called 'AAD' (advance air defence) and is meant to be used in 'endo-atmospheric conditions' (with in 50 km altitude of earth's surface).
The seven-metre long 'AAD' interceptor is a single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data up-linked from the ground based radar, the sources said.
The missile has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and its own radar.
The DRDO has already test fired the interceptor missile thrice - November 27, 2006, December 6, 2007 and March 6, 2009 - from the Wheeler Island.