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 VK
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
"Only some of the equipments and consultancy would be
provided by Israel," Saraswat said.