INDIA TO BUILD BMD IN THE THAAD CATEGORY
By Bulbul Singh
16 Mar 09. India has begun work on developing an advanced Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD)system which will be able to engage long-range ballistic missiles including Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The work on the advanced BMD system will be equivalent to the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missiles.
On March 6th Indian scientists destroyed an incoming missile with an interceptor at a height of 80kms as part of a home-grown BMD system test.
The Indian BMD system, called the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) system, with the first phase, Phase I, expected to be completed in the next 15 months.
“In the now initiated second stage, incoming missiles with a range of over 2000 kilometers will be intercepted at a height of over 120 kilometers,” said sources in Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which is currently developing the PAD system.
‘PAD is in the class of THAAD missiles deployed by the United,’ claimed a
Comparing the PAD system with other BMD systems, the DRDO scientist claimed that in the Endo-atmospheric kill, the Indian version can intercept targets at 25kms, while the PAC-3 of United States can do so at a range of 15kms only.
The Israeli Arrow-2 can track a missile at a height of up to 40kms while the Indian PAD can track the missile between 50 and 80 kilometers.
However, PAD cannot intercept incoming cruise missiles at tree-top height
‘Under the Phase-2 program the interceptor for exo-atmosphric missile will engage the target at altitudes beyond 120kms and up to 200kms at one stage,’ claimed the DRDO scientist.
The PAD has two stages in which the second stage is a solid rocket
motor propelled system and has unique features which include
seeker-performing guidance, a direct thruster which can generate a
lateral acceleration of more than 5G at 50kms altitude. It has homing guidance capability for engagement of ballistic missiles at high altitudes.
The main radar used is an active phased array radar based on the Israeli Green Pine Radar, with a capability to track 200 targets simultaneously at ranges of 600 to 800kms. DRDO claims that in the Green Pine Radar they have developed the software required for engagement including signal processing.
The DRDO scientist claimed that the Indian PAD has the capability to engage Multiple Independently Targeted Vehicle (MIRV); multiple missiles are fired by the battery which track down the split re-entry vehicle as separate targets.
The Indian BMD system will have participation from 30 private & state-owned companies which will manufacture various subsystem of this missile and weapon system. While the radar will be made with a consortium of Bharat electronics, the Missile & Subsystem are being made by several private industries and the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Ltd. [BDL]. The interceptor missile is equipped with solid-propellant booster and rocket motors which launches vertically with the initial launch and thereafter a secondary burn sustains the missile’s trajectory towards the target at a maximum speed of Mach 5.