In a significant milestone in the direction of developing a two-layered Ballistic Missile Defence system, India today successfully carried out its maiden Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) test-fire, meeting the mission objectives.

“The PDV mission is for engaging targets in the exo-atmosphere region at more than 120 km altitude,” the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) said in a statement after the trial conducted on the Odisha coast.

“Both the PDV interceptor and the two-stage target equipped with motors were specially developed for the mission. The target, developed to mimic a ‘hostile ballistic missile approaching from more than 2,000 km away,” was launched at 0907 hrs from a ship in the Bay of Bengal,” it said.

“In an automated operation, a radar-based detection and tracking system detected and tracked the enemy’s ballistic missile. The computer network with the help of data received from radars predicted the trajectory of the incoming ballistic missile,” it said.

A PDV that was kept fully ready, took off from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here, once the computer system gave the necessary command for lift-off, the DRDO release said.

“The interceptor guided by a high accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System moved towards the estimated point of the interception,” it said.

Once the missile crossed the atmosphere, the Heat Shield ejected and the IR (Infrared) Seeker dome opened to look at the target location as designated by the Mission Computer.

With the help of Inertial Guidance and IR Seeker the missile moved for interception.

(This article was published on April 27, 2014)
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