Indian DRDO plans first Prithvi Defence Vehicle launch next month

1 December 2013 (Last Updated December 1st, 2013 18:30)

The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is considering the first test launch of the newly-developed interceptor missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast in January 2014.

The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is considering the first test launch of the newly-developed interceptor missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast in January 2014.

Called as Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), the interceptor is capable of destroying enemy missile with a strike range of 2,500km outside the Earth's atmosphere, at an altitude of more than 150km, The New Indian Express reports.

Carried out as part of India's Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme, the launch will feature the interceptor and enemy missiles, programmed at separate locations in Chandipur and Wheeler Island, India.

An unnamed source was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the enemy missile would be launched from a naval warship in the Bay of Bengal, while the interceptor would be fired from the launch complex-IV at Wheeler Island.

"Now we want to achieve the interception altitude of over 150km."

Powered by solid propellants, the two-stage PDV interceptor is fitted to an innovative system for controlling the vehicle at an altitude of over 150km, and is anticipated to replace the programme air defence (PAD) interceptor.

DRDO has to date carried out seven interceptor missile tests, in both exo- and endo-atmospheric regions, of which six have been successful.

An unnamed defence scientist said that the PAD and advanced air defence interceptor missiles have already demonstrated their killing capability at an altitude of 50km to 80km and 15km to 30km, respectively.

''Now we want to achieve the interception altitude of over 150km,'' the scientist said.

The PDV completes the Phase I of the two-layered BMD system, which is anticipated to be inducted in the Indian Armed Forces by the end of 2014.