Naval warship intercepts short-range ballistic missile fired by simulated enemy - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla

A Prithvi short-range ballistic missile is fired to serve as a target for an endo-atmospheric interception by a ballistic missile interceptor fired from Odisha

By Vikas Gupta

Trade Standard, 23 Apr 23

The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Indian Navy conducted their first flight test of a sea-based endo-atmospheric interceptor missile on Saturday.

“The successful trial was conducted off Odisha in the Bay of Bengal…The purpose of the trial was to engage and neutralize a hostile ballistic missile threat, thereby elevating India into the club of ‘elite of nations with a naval ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability,’ a Defense Department statement said.

DRDO has previously successfully demonstrated land-based BMD systems with the ability to neutralize ballistic missile threats emanating from adversaries. These tests demonstrated the ability to detect, track, engage and shoot down Prithvi-class ballistic missiles.

The interceptor missile, which is classified as an anti-ballistic missile (ABM), is designed to counter other short and medium range short and medium range ballistic missiles as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from another country.

Called the Prithvi Air Defense (PAD) system, it is an anti-ballistic missile system that was developed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles outside of the atmosphere (exo-atmospheric). Based on the Prithvi missile, the PAD is a two-stage missile with a maximum intercept altitude of 80 km (50 mi).

The US Navy has also already demonstrated a sophisticated BMD capability with its Aegis-class destroyers, which form the backbone of its fleet of warships.

These warships deploy the Aegis combat system, which is an integrated naval weapons system produced by Lockheed Martin.

Initially used by the United States Navy (USN), Aegis systems are now also used by the Japanese, Spanish, Norwegian, Korean and Australian navies. The Royal Canadian Navy also plans to use the Aegis system

In 2022, a total of 110 Aegis-equipped ships have been deployed and 71 more are planned. Aegis BMD capabilities are being developed as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) missile defense system.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh commended the DRDO, Indian Navy and industries involved in the successful demonstration of shipborne BMD capabilities.

DDR&D Secretary and DRDO Chairman Dr. Samir V Kamat congratulated the teams involved in the design and development of the missile. He said the nation has achieved self-reliance in the development of highly complex network-centric anti-ballistic missile systems.