Demonstration of integrated missile air defence system by June next year: Dr VK Saraswat

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.