India has successfully test-fired an exo-atmospheric interceptor missile, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), from Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha state.
During the test conducted on 11 February, the PDV successfully intercepted an incoming ballistic missile target, according to media sources.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quoted by NDTV as saying: "Today our scientists have made a missile that could attack an incoming missile in the sky, only four to five countries in the world have done this."
After the successful test, India has crossed an important milestone in building its overall capability towards enhanced security against incoming ballistic missile threats, the Indian Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
A Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official was quoted by the Press Trust of India (PTI) as saying: "PDV mission is for engaging the targets in the exo-atmosphere region at an altitude beyond 50km of earth's atmosphere.
“Both, the PDV interceptor and the two-stage target missile, were successfully engaged.”
The ballistic missile's flight was detected and tracked by a radar-based tracking system, according to NDTV.
Developed by DRDO, the PDV interceptor is intended to replace the existing Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile, Sputnik reported.