India Tests Ballistic Missile Defense System

On March 1, India conducted the second test this month of its ballistic missile defense system when a low-altitude interceptor destroyed a target Prithvi missile over the Bay of Bengal. This test demonstrated the lower tier of the planned two-tier ballistic missile defense system, intercepting the target in the endo-atmosphere at 15 km altitude. According to India’s Defense Research and Defense Organization, “the weapon system radars tracked the target and provided the initial guidance to the interceptor which could precisely home on to the target and destroyed it in the endo-atmospheric layer.” According to the DRDO, the interceptor Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile is 7.5m long, single-staged, and is equipped with a navigation system, electro-mechanical activator, and independent tracking and homing capabilities. This test is part of Phase 1 of the BMD testing schedule, meant to intercept missiles from a 2,000 km range. Phase 2 will attempt to defeat missiles coming from a range of 5,000 km.