The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Navy successfully conducted a maiden flight trial of sea-based endo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the coast of Odisha in the Bay of Bengal on April 21, 2023. The purpose of the trial was to engage and neutralize a hostile ballistic missile threat thereby elevating India into the elite club of Nations having Naval Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system capability. Prior to this, DRDO has successfully demonstrated land-based BMD system with capability to neutralize ballistic missile threats, emerging from adversaries.
The Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) Rajnath Singh congratulated Defence Research and Development Organisation, Indian Navy and Industry involved in successful demonstration of ship based Ballistic Missile defence capabilities. Secretary DDR&D and Chairman DRDO Dr Samir V Kamat complimented the teams involved in the design and development of the missile. He said that nation has achieved self-reliance in developing highly-complex network-centric anti-ballistic missile systems.
In addition to a land-based BMD system, a mobile sea-based version is also required to expand the defence of the vital areas and installations. The Defence Research and Development Organisation and Indian Navy conducted the test off the coast of Odisha. It followed the phase-2 trial of a land-based BMD system in November last year. The endo-atmosphere comprises an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles), while the exo-atmosphere ranges between 500 to 1,000 kilometers (310-620 miles). The land-based BMD system is capable of intercepting targets such as long-range missiles and aircraft in the low exo-atmosphere and endo-atmosphere.
The Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Program is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defence system to protect India from ballistic missile attacks. It was launched in 2000 after Kargil War by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. Introduced in light of the ballistic missile threat from Pakistan and China, it is a double-tiered system consisting of two land and sea-based interceptor missiles, namely the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile for high altitude interception, and the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interception. The two-tiered shield should be able to intercept any incoming missile launched from 5,000 kilometres away.