India Tests New High-Altitude Interceptor Missile

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On February 11, India conducted a test of its two-tier ballistic missile defense system. Reports indicate that an exo-atmospheric interceptor, also called the “Prithvi Defense Vehicle” (PDV), successfully launched from India’s Wheeler Island test range, approximately 200 km away from the ship-launched target missile. Accroding to DRDO, the PDV intercepted the target at an altitude of 97 km.  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the test a success, referring to the system as a “THAAD-type anti-missile defense system” with a capability to intercept at altitudes of up to 150 km. Modi also commented at an election rally that “today our scientists have made a missile that can destroy an enemy missile high in the sky… only four to five countries in the world have done this.” Although the Defense Research and Development Organization expressed optimism and excitement for the layered missile shield, they have previously failed to meet a 2014 deadline for implementing a similar missile shield over New Delhi.