Hyderabad: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning to demonstrate an integrated air defence system, effective in both the exo-atmospheric (above 40 km altitude) and endo-atmospheric (below 30 km) regions before June next year, according to chief controller, DRDO R&D (missiles and strategic systems), Dr VK Saraswat.
The announcement follows the successful test firing of an indigenously developed interceptor missile from the Wheeler Island last week on Thursday. According to Dr Saraswat, the system will also have built-in features to double up as a tactical missile apart from functioning as an extended air defence system to engage target aircraft beyond 100 km. He was speaking at a news conference on Saturday.
The team that developed the system made a video presentation of the lift-off of ''AAD-02'' (Advanced Air Defence) interceptor missile and its homing in on the target missile ''TGT-04'' with the help of radars based at Konark and Paradip.
The AAD-02 weighed 1.2 tonnes at launch, while the TGT-04 weighed 4.5 tonnes, Dr. Saraswat said. He pointed out that the entire interceptor missile system was homegrown except the radars, which had been acquired from Israel and France.
Saraswat pointed out that the country had now embarked on a programme, which would indigenise radars allowing such projects adopt a ''standalone'' profile.
According to Dr Saraswat, lasts week''s demonstration displayed India''s capability to defend itself against hostile 2,000-km intermediate range ballistic missile systems.
Saraswat also pointed out that India had so far spent Rs.2,000 crore on developing such a missile defence system over the last seven years, even as the US had been spending $2 billion each year since the 1980s.
With the latest successful interceptor launch, India joins the exclusive club of the United States, Russia, France and Israel in having developed such an air defence system.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation plans to conduct a few more trials over the coming years.