India flight-tested a sea-based ballistic missile defense (BMD) system on Friday.
The endo-atmospheric interceptor’s maiden trial from a vessel elevated “the country into the elite club of nations having naval BMD capability,” the Ministry of Defence stated.
Currently, only the US, China, Russia, and Israel have operational sea-based BMD capability.
The @DRDO_India & #IndianNavy, today successfully conducted a maiden flight trial of sea-based endo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal.
Read for more: https://t.co/4ZfFRatSDS@rajnathsingh @giridhararamane @indiannavy @PIB_India
— A. Bharat Bhushan Babu (@SpokespersonMoD) April 22, 2023
Exo-Atmospheric Interceptors to Be Tested Next
“This is the first time that the terminal endo-atmospheric interceptor was tested from a ship against an `electronic target’. More tests, including of exo-atmospheric interceptors, will of course have to be conducted,” The Times of India quoted a source as saying.
“In addition to a land-based BMD system, a mobile sea-based version is also required to expand the defence of the vital areas and installations,” he added.
“The next-generation destroyers or dedicated BMD vessels will be equipped with such systems with long-range radars and sensors to detect, track and destroy hostile missiles.”
Land-Based BMD Phase-2
The Defence Research and Development Organisation and Indian Navy conducted the test off the coast of Odisha. It followed the phase-2 trial of a land-based BMD system in November last year.
The land-based BMD system is capable of intercepting targets such as long-range missiles and aircraft in the low exo-atmosphere and endo-atmosphere.
The endo-atmosphere comprises an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles), while the exo-atmosphere ranges between 500 to 1,000 kilometers (310-620 miles).