In an adroit manner Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced the arrival of India into the elite club of countries possessing the prowess of shooting down an incoming ballistic missile as he congratulated the defence scientists for the successful trial of the ballistic missile defence system last week.
In an unprecedented acknowledgement of the Indian missile defence capabilities, the Prime Minister averred that it was a “cutting edge competency” that is possessed by only four or five countries.
“In the field of defence also, India has successfully test fired the Ballistic Interceptor Missile. During its trial, this missile, based on interceptor technology, destroyed an enemy missile at an altitude of about 100 km above the surface of the earth and thus marked its success. This is a significant, cutting edge competency in the arena of security,” Prime Minister Modi said in hi ‘Mann ki Baat’ talking about the issue that has not been “discussed much”.
The system has been in the making since the 1990’s and it was first tested in 2006. Even though it is running behind schedule - as it should have been operationalised by 2014 – the technology is an
important achievement for indigenous defence manufacturing. Besides India, the other countries to possess this system are the US, Russia, Israel and China.
“And you will be happy to know that hardly four or five countries in the world possess this capability. India’s scientists have demonstrated this prowess. Its core strength lies in the fact that if, even from a distance of 2000 km, a missile is launched to attack India, our missile can pre-emptively destroy it
in the space itself,” Modi added while enunciating the qualities of the two-tier system.
The recent test of the system was done by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) off the coast of the Wheeler Island on Feb 12. Earlier named as the Prithvi Air Defence system, the
interceptor has now been renamed as Pradyumna.
While the system is not 100 percent fool-proof it will boost the security of vital installations and assets like
nuclear power stations and oil wells from the incoming enemy missiles both in the endo-atmosphere and exo-atmosphere.
Now it will have a couple of more advanced tests to fine-tune the system before it can be deployed in operational capacity.
The missile shield is equipped with sensitive radars to pick up incoming missiles and then launches and interceptor guided by a navigation system to decimate it within seconds.