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India's air defence system achieves a hat-trick

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A Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) being successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range off Odisha coast on Thursday. Photo: PTI.

BALASORE, ODISHA (PTI): Scoring a hat-trick, India on Friday successfully test fired the new surface-to-air missile developed jointly with Israel from a defence base off Odisha coast in a third consecutive trial of the air defence system.

The missile with a strike range of 70 km was launched at 1020 hours from the Integrated Test Range(ITR) at Chandipur, a Defence statement said.

"With a third consecutive successful test firing on Friday, the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) air defence system has achieved a Hat trick," it said.

"The objective of Friday's mission was for maximum range and high manoeuvring target. The missile guided by armoured seeker system hit the last minute manoeuvring target," the Defence release said.

With this, MRSAM system has proved the air defence capability for three different boundary envelopes of the target, it said.

Defence Research and Development Organisation created history by conducting three consecutive successful trials of the missile for Indian Air Force, a DRDO official said.

The missile had been successfully test-fired twice yesterday from the ITR.

The missile, positioned at launch pad-3 of the ITR, swung into action after getting signal from the radars to intercept a pilotless target aircraft over the Bay of Bengal, DRDO officials said.

Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile, they said.

"The missile along with MF-STAR will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats," said a DRDO scientist.

President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated DRDO on the successful test-firings of the medium-range missile and said it should make greater efforts to boost India's indigenous defence capabilities.

The missile was jointly developed by a laboratory of DRDO based at Hyderabad in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries.

Earlier, Indian Navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM). The test had been undertaken on the western seaboard by INS Kolkata on December 30, 2015, the officials said.

Such type of medium range surface-to-air missiles having striking ranges from 50 to 70 km can fill the gap of existing missiles that India has in its armoury, they said.

As a safety measure, Balasore district administration in consultation with defence officials had temporarily shifted 3,652 civilians residing within 2.5 km radius of the launch pad No.3 of ITR to nearby shelter centres this morning to ensure a safe launch of the missile, a Revenue official said.

Fishermen engaged in sea fishing along the Bay of Bengal in Odisha coastal districts Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada were asked not to venture into the sea during the time of the test launch.

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India  MRSAM  Israel  Test  
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