Its BMD program has a two-tiered system, with the Prithvi missile for high-altitude, exoatmospheric intercepts and advanced air defenses for low-altitude endoatmospheric interception. In the most recent test, DRDO's Air Defense Missile AAD-05 intercepted a modified Prithvi ballistic missile at 15-km altitude off the coast of Orissa in East India.
During tests thus far, radars tracked the incoming ballistic missile and provided continuous updates to the AAD-05 interceptor. The missile also employed an onboard radio-frequency seeker in the endgame.
In the most recent test, India's Radar and Electro Optic Tracking Systems (EOTS) tracked the missile and also recorded the fragments of the target missile falling into the Bay of Bengal. The mission was carried out in the final deliverable user-configuration mode.
Plans call for two new antiballistic missiles to intercept ICBMs at a range of 5,000 km by 2016.
DRDO says its young system is comparable to the U.S. Patriot, a terminal area-defense system that was used for the first time during the 1990 Persian Gulf war.
“The ballistic missile defense shield is now mature,” DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat says. “We are ready to put Phase 1 in place, and it can be put in [in a] very short time.” India will likely deploy it in two locations, Saraswat says.