India Set To Build Floating Test Range For Missile Defence System

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:37 PM, September 7, 2015
  • 4572

India is building a floating testing range, a 10,000 tonnes ship, to facilitate testing of ballistic missile defence (BMD) Phase-2 interceptor missile.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientists have designed the floating testing range to overcome land mass limitations imposed for carrying out different range missile tests, the Hindu reported today.

The BMD phase II system destroys incoming enemy missiles at different altitudes in the endo- and exo-atmospheres. The system will interrupt a ballistic missile and destroy it in mid-air.

The first phase of the programme envisions development of interceptors to annihilate incoming missiles with a range of 2,000 km, while the second phase aims to build such weapons to destroy missiles with a longer range.

The first phase of the system is expected to be deployed after some more interceptor trials in deployable configuration. The ship would have many facilities such as a launch-pad, a launch control centre and a mission control centre.

The construction of the range might take at least three to four years for the ship to be ready to conduct the first trial.

“It will pave the way for conducting trials for different trajectories, varying altitudes and also for higher ranges. We can go up to 1,000-1,500 km without any problem. Currently, we have to conduct simulation tests for longer ranges. Once, this FTR is ready we will be able to carry out live tests,” an anonymous sources said.

The missile testing range on Wheeler Island has limitations as people needed to be evacuated from the villages whenever, a trial took place.

Moreover, the range of the missile had to be confined to less than 300 km and testing of different trajectories would hardly be possible.

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