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India's AAD interceptor missile test fails

A File Photo of an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile. A DRDO Photo.

BALASORE, ORISSA (PTI): The test fire of India's new Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile from the Orissa coast on Monday failed to materialise as the target deviated from its path and plunged into the sea.

The target, a Prithvi missile, fired at 10:02 am from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range Complex-3 at Chandipur-on-Sea, 15 km from here, deviated from its trajectory after travelling about 11 km and fell into the sea, defence sources said.

As a result, the hypersonic interceptor missile, being developed to destroy hostile incoming ballistic missiles, did not get the required command for takeoff from Wheeler Island, about 70 km across the sea from Chandipur, they said.

The AAD missile was to intercept the target at an altitude of 15 to 20 km over the sea.

"Scientists are analysing data to ascertain the reason behind the deviation of the Prithvi from its pre-designated trajectory," the sources said.

"Coordination between the target missile (Prithvi), from Chandipur and the interceptor from Wheeler Island could not take place properly during the planned trial," they said.

The trial, aimed at developing a multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system, was originally scheduled to be held on Sunday from the two sites of the ITR, but had to be put off due to technical snag in a sub-system at Wheeler Island, they said.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had already test-fired the interceptor missile thrice on November 27, 2006, December 6, 2007 and March 6, 2009 from the Wheeler Island.

The seven metre AAD interceptor is a single stage solid rocket-propelled guided missile equipped with an inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator totally under command by the data uplinked from the ground based radar, they said.

The missile has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and its own radar.

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