‘DRDO has ready and deployable ballistic missile defence system’

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has a ready and deployable ballistic missile defence (BMD) system, sources in the organisation say. During the penultimate days of the then director general of the organisation, VS Saraswat, had pushed for a limited deployment in Delhi and Mumbai, but the central government had demurred. That was then. Has the situation changed not? Will a new government in New Delhi cross the rubicon? 

A senior scientist of the DRDO says that the job of the body is to develop technological options for the government, and then it is for the latter to decide on the strategy and tactics of how to use them.

Let’s take the latest test DRDO undertook on 27 April. ‘The significant milestone achieved in the direction of developing a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system, DRDO successfully carried out the maiden PDV mission meeting the mission objectives. The PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at about more than 120 km altitude,’ the press release had said.

This meant that a two-stage target missile was built to simulate the flight pattern of an ‘enemy’ ballistic missile fired from a distance of 2,000 km and the Prithvi Developmental Vehicle (PDV) launched itself guided by its ‘mission computer’ and intercepted at the exo-atmospheric level at an altitude of 120 kilometres. Exo-atmospheric meant that the PDV interception was taking place at a height that is above and beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

In effect, this ensured that the target missile was fully destroyed without any pieces of debris reaching the ground.

The PDV or its predecessor PAD, was the second layer of the two-layer ballistic missile defence system. The endo-atmospheric first layer of defence at an altitude of 20-50 kilometres by the AAD has already been tested a number of times and now ready to deploy.
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