Def scientists to try to shoot down missile at 150km altitude

Defence scientists have been able to intercept a missile at an altitude of 80 km and are now planning to aim higher.

Last Updated: Jan 04, 2011, 18:41 PM IST

Chennai: Defence scientists in the country
are set to raise the bar for excellence by trying to shoot
down a missile at an altitude of 150 kms later this year.

Defence scientists have been able to intercept a
missile at an altitude of 80 km and are now planning to aim
higher.

"The trials are expected later this year," V K
Saraswat, Director General, Defence Research and Development
Organisation (DRDO) told reporters on the sidelines of the
98th Indian Science Congress here.

He said the DRDO scientists were also planning to
raise the altitude for interception gradually to upto 300 km.

The DRDO-developed missile shield uses a system of
long range radars and long-range missiles to shoot down
incoming enemy missiles.

The system has been tested successfully three times
since December 2006.

The Prithvi interceptor missile has been codenamed
PDV, a two stage rocket powered by solid propellants.

Asked about the failure of the recent Agni-II Prime
tests, Saraswat blamed it on the quality of components
procured from the industry.

He said the defence scientists have recovered the
entire hardware of the last month`s failed test of the Agni-II
Prime missile and would soon come out with a detailed analysis
of the event.

Saraswat stressed on improving the quality of products
it receives from the industry.

He said the DRDO will now have to go beyond quality
checks for the components it sources from the industry and
ensure control on the quality of manufacturing processes.

He said the DRDO has also decided to launch a
commercial arm to market its technologies having civilian and
paramilitary applications.

"We have new users coming up in the paramilitary
forces and some of our technologies also have civilian
applications. So, taking into account the volume of sping-offs
a commercial arm is planned," Saraswat said.

He said DRDO has transferred technology for its
products to around 15 firms and has earned Rs 20 crore from
the deals.

PTI