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By Bulbul Singh

30 Jul 08. Indian scientists have finalized the test of an upgraded version of homegrown Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD)System under which an incoming missile of 2000 kilometres range will be killed at an altitude of around 80 kilometres. The homegrown ballistic missile system, developed with help from Israelis, is due to test the incoming 2000 kilometres-range missile in the next one to two months, said sources in the Indian defence Ministry.

The impending BMD test aims to achieves capability in destroying an incoming ballistic missile from either China or Pakistan with a range of 2000 kilometres either outside the atmospheric layer at a height of 80 kilometres or even if it enters the atmospheric layer at a distance of around 15 kilometres. The homegrown BMD missile system is expected to be inducted by 2011 in the Indian defence forces.

Work is also underway at India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, (DRDO) laboratories to prepare an advanced BMD system which will have the capability to killing incoming Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The planned test of the BMD system will be the third test in a row of the homegrown system which was first tested in November 2006 to kill an incoming missile, at a distance of 50 kilometres, called the exo-atmospheric test and the second test took place in December 2007 when an incoming missile was killed at a height of 15 kilometres in the endo-atmospheric test.

After the planned exo-atmospheric test in the next two months, another test will be planned in 2009 in which both the endo-atmospheric and exo-atmospheric tests will be put to test simultaneously. The homegrown BMD system is being developed by DRDO scientists with help from Israel which has supplied the Green Pine Radar fitted in the Israeli Arrow-2 anti-ballistic missile system, which has been further modified by DRDO scientists.

Sources in DRDO said the impending test will see the launching of a target which will be picked by a long-range tracking radar at a distance of less then 3 kilometres from the launch place. Thereafter the Mission Control Centre will get the information from the Tracking Radar and pass on this information to the Mission Control Centre which will further give target assignment to the Launch Control Centre, Ground Guidance Computer the Initial Azimuth, Time of Launch of BMD missile and uploaded on on-board computer and the interceptor towards target. The interceptor will then kill the incoming missile with a range of 2000 kilometres at an altitude of 80 kilometres. The speed of the interceptor will be Mach 5.

The long-range radar is in fact the Green Radar, now modified by DRDO and having the capability to track 200 targets at a range of about 600 kilometres. The radar can also track the target and the interceptor. DRDO has developed the complete software for doing the tracking and engagement of ballistic missiles which includes complete software for signal processing transmitter receiver modules, Central Power Units (CPU) and complete ground segment like cooling units, power supplies and the communication network.

The radar for the endo-atmospheric layer test, a multi-function control radar (MFCR) is also a phased array radar on the L-Band.
The acquisition of the homegrown BMD by the Indian defence forces will see India entering the elite group of countries having capabilities to kill enemy nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. India has neighbours in China and Pakistan, with whom it has fought wars having nuclear missiles. The acquisition of the BMD system will tremendously increase India’s nuclear deterrence ability, remarked one senior Indian defence ministry official.

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