May 15, 2011, THE TIMES OF INDIA
NEW DELHI: India has started working on a network of air-defence systems which would be able to shoot down any enemy missile even at a distance of 5,000 kms, before it can enter the Indian air space.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has already developed a missile that can intercept an incoming aerial threat 2,000 kms away under the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) System and is now working on the second phase.
Under the second phase, missiles are being designed and developed in a manner that would enable them to shoot down any incoming missile at a distance of 5,000 kms, DRDO chief V K Saraswat said here.
The 5,000 kms interceptor missile is targeted to be ready by 2016, he said.
"It is well on schedule and we are already on initial design and testing stage," Saraswat said.
"Presently, our missiles are designed to engage targets within 2,000 km range. Later on, we will be making 5,000 km range class of interceptor missiles. That will be Phase-II of the BMD system," he added.
Last July, DRDO successfully tested the Phase-I of the indigenously developed interceptor missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island off Orissa coast.
On possibility of any tie-up with the US or any other country for development of the BMD systems, Saraswat said, "Our process of international collaboration is only to accelerate our own development process. Whenever we feel the need of a new technology, we may go for collaborations."
On the US offering India the Aegis Missile Defence Systems, he said, "These are market forces and will always remain there. There would always be market forces trying to sell the available equipment. In India this is not just a R&D effort but an actual programme, so I don't think we should worry about this."
India is also developing the Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR) for the BMD systems. While the radars used for the Phase-I experiments were built with equal partnership from Israel, the Phase-II will have 80 per cent indigenous component.
"Only some of the equipments and consultancy would be provided by Israel," Saraswat said.