India has become the fourth nation in the globe to have a ballistic missile Defence shield which can be deployed at a short notice and offer protection to a minimum of two cities. According to DRDO Chief Dr.V.K.Saraswat, the ballistic missile defense shield is now mature and will be put in place. The missile shield has been tested successfully and an incoming ballistic missile with the range of up to 2,000 kilometers can be destroyed.
According to DRDO Chief Dr.Saraswat, the missile shield can be put in two places where the infrastructure is available. While this will constitute the first phase of the plan, the places where the missile shield will be deployed are yet to be finalized by the government.
The DRDO chief said that in the second phase, the shield would be capable of intercepting and destroying an incoming missile with a range of 5,000 kilometers. This upgradation of the system to the range of 5,000 kilometers will occur by 2016. The system required for phase-II of the project is being developed and ships are being built from where the target missiles would be launched
DRDO has indicated that they have carried out six successful launches and demonstrated the capability for 2,000 kilometer targets. This ability has been demonstrated in both the endo-atmospheric and exo-atmospheric layers.
For the test of the missile shield, Prithvi missile variants were used as simulated targets and successful interception of the missiles took place. All of the elements including long-range radars and tracking devices, real-time data-link and mission control system required for the missile system have given a successful performance.
With this missile shield test, India will be the fourth nation after the US, Russia and Israel to have such a capability. DRDO chief said the Indian missile Defence system is comparable with the US Patriot 3 system used in Gulf War. The system was first test-fired in end 2006 leading India on to the exclusive club of countries to have successfully developed an anti-ballistic missile system.
While elaborating on the advanced nature of the shield, DRDO explained that it has been automated to an extent where human intervention would be required only if the mission has to be aborted. According to DRDO, the interception of the missiles at higher altitudes is being contemplated as it would give it more response time in case the first attempt is a miss and the second layer can be put into action.