NEW DELHI — Indian scientists are upgrading the nationís indigenous ballistic missile defense (BMD) system to extend the range at which it can kill an incoming missile from 2,000 kilometers to 5,000 kilometers.
The first phase of the BMD system has been completed, a Defence Ministry official said.
Avinash Chandra, the newly appointed head of the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said the agency has given top priority to the BMD effort.
A DRDO scientist said the second phase of the program is in advanced stages of development and the first intercept test is likely to be completed by the end of the year.
The improved version will include advanced homemade radar and guidance systems, added the DRDO scientist, but will be an add-on of the first phase.
Indiaís homemade BMD system can engage enemy ballistic missiles at the exo-atmospheric layer, just beyond the atmosphere, and at the endo-atmospheric layer within the atmosphere, the DRDO scientist said. To increase hit probability, the system can launch two to three missiles each for exo- and endo-atmospheric interception simultaneously.
The interceptorís speed is between 4.5 and 5 mach. A typical battery hasa long-range radar, missile launchers, mission control centers and other ground systems.
The complete network of radars, launch batteries, missiles control centers and launch control centers is geographically distributed and connected to a secure communication network.
The first phase of the BMD program, which can target missiles at a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, is now in the induction stage, and the system first will be installed around New Delhi, added a source in DRDO.