DRDO is developing a layered missile defense system that will be ready fro deployment by 2015.
DRDO Chief V.K. Saraswat told the press on March 21, 2010, that the Ballistic Missile System is being developed in two phases under a capability based deployment plan.
In the first phase, which is currently underway, DRDO will develop and deploy a system for defense against missiles with less than 2,000 km range like Pakistan's Ghauri and Shaheen missiles and China's solid-fuel Dongfeng-21 (NATO designation: CSS-5).
In the second phase, system capability will be upgraded to defend against missiles with ranges greater than 2,000 km that can additionally deploy decoys or maneuver.
The Phase 2 system will require longer range radars (Detection range of 1,500km as opposed to 600 km for Phase 1 radars), and new hypersonic interceptor missiles flying at Mach 6-7 (As opposed to Mach 4-5 for Phase 1 missiles) with agility and the capability to discriminate against ballistic missile defence counter measures.
“Our effort is to have interception at very high altitudes, and the entire system will be able to handle multiple, simultaneous attacks,” Saraswat said.
Following the eighth test of the BMD on November 23, 2012, validating its ability to engage multiple targets, Scientific Advisor to Defense Minister V.K. Saraswat told The Hindu from Wheeler Island, "We are now in a position to deploy the system."
He added that the First Phase of the BMD, which would be able to engage missiles of upto 2,000 kim range, would be deployed by 2013-14.
On June 24, 2012, PTI reported that the DRDO is preparing a proposal for clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to develop BMD systems that can be deployed at short notice to protect Delhi and Mumbai.
Under the proposal, DRDO will identify secure sites in and around the two cities where missile interceptors and their associated tracking radars would be deployed if the country faced the threat of a nuclear war.
The BMD system will be completely automated and require minimum human intervention, DRDO sources told PTI.
In April 2012, DRDO Chief VK Saraswat told India Today:
"Phase-1 of the BMD programme will be completed by 2013. In this, we will intercept Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles with a range of 2,000 km. The second phase will be completed by 2016. In this, we will be able to intercept intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) with ranges over 5,000 km."
In August, 2011, Dr Avinash Chander, DRDO’s Chief Controller for Missiles and Strategic Systems, told the Business Standard, “We can deploy an effective ABM system for a single city within 3 years from now. We can definitely ensure the safety of one city in that time frame. After that, the [ABM shield for] other cities will follow.”
DRDO Chief V.K. Saraswat had told the press on March 21, 2010 that Phase 1 could be deployed in two years and Phase 2 by 2016.
The system will be based on radar technology for tracking and fire control which the DRDO developed jointly with Israel and France respectively.
It will be implemented as a two tiered terminal phase interceptor system comprising of
The integrated exo and endo-atmospheric systems offer a hit-to-kill probability of 99.8 per cent.
A two stage missile with a maximum interception altitude of 80 km (50 mi), the PAD has a solid fueled first stage and a liquid fueled second stage.
The missile uses inertial navigation with mid-course correction from LRTR. In its terminal phase, it switches to active radar homing.
The missile uses a maneuvering gimbaled directional warhead which can rotate 360 degrees to explode towards the incoming missile in order to destroy. DRDO claims to have tested the technology which so far only the US and Russia have demonstrated.
Because it is directional, the 30 kg warhead is able to generate an impact equivalent to a 150 kg omni-directional warhead.
The PAD-1 missile will be replaced with the PDV missile, which has two solid fuel stages.
The PDV will be capable of intercepting enemy missiles at altitudes upto 150 km. Like the PAD, it will feature a directional warhead.
It will be equipped with a innovative system to allow the missile to maneuver at altitudes up to 150 km, well outside the earth's atmosphere.
"The PDV will be the mainstay of the defence shield," Dr Saraswat told India Today in June 2010.
The first trial of the missile was initially scheduled for late June or early July 2010. On February 14, 2012, DRDO Chief VK Saraswat told Express News Service that the missile would be tested by the end of 2012.
“If every thing goes as per the plan, the new missile that can also carry the directional warhead would be test-fired by the year-end,” Saraswat said.
The endo-atmospheric interceptor AAD is a 7.5m long, single stage solid fueled missile, equipped with a ring laser gyro based inertial navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro- mechanical actuators totally under command by the data up-linked from the sophisticated ground based radars to the interceptor.
In an interview with the Indian Express in April 2012, DRDO Chief VK Saraswat compared the ADD to Patriot 3.
"Israelis have used Patriot 2, and this (AAD) is equivalent to Patriot 3. There is a difference between Patriot 2 and 3. Patriot 2 was a semi-active guidance whereas Patriot 3 is active guidance.
"The philosophy in this case is first you launch the missile based upon the data collected by a ground radar about the target. Once the missile goes close to the target, the homing seeker homes onto the target and starts tracking autonomously."
The AAD interceptor is equipped with a P-charge [projectile charge] warhead that can penetrate thick steel and cause damage with a high hit [repeat hit] density.
"That means the number of holes you create per unit area is very high," a DROD official told the press in October, 2009.
The DRDO uses a modified Prithvi missile as the target for testing the BMD system.
DRDO Chief VK Saraswat told the Indian Express in April 2012, "Prithvi missile in a normal course travels only up to an altitude of 40 km and covers a range of 350 km. Whereas I made it go up to a height of 100 km and come down like a ballistic missile, simulating the terminal velocities of a target of, say, 2,000-km class and then engaging that target with this AAD missile."
The Phase 2 missile defense system will be based on the AD-1 and AD-2 interceptor missile that are currently under development.
"Ground testing of the AD-1 will begin next year and the AD-1 missile will be test-fired in 2012," Saraswat told India Today in June 2010.
These interceptors would be capable of shooting down missiles that have ranges greater than 5,000 km, which follow a distinctly different trajectory than a missile with a range of 2,000 km or less. During their final phase, ICBMs hurtle towards their targets at speeds twice those of intermediate range missiles.
The Phase 2 system will match the capability of the THAAD or Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missiles deployed by the United States as part of its missile shield beginning this year. THAAD missiles can intercept ballistic missiles over 200 km away and track targets at ranges in excess of 1,000 km.
Unlike the Phase 1 Swordfish radar developed by India in partnership with Israel, the radar to support Phase 2 interception will have 80% indigenous component, DRDO chief VK Saraswat told the press on May 15, 2011.
"Only some of the equipments and consultancy would be provided by Israel," Saraswat said.
A floating test range is being developed for developing the Phase 2 system.
During the testing of the Phase 2 system, target missiles will be launched from specially constructed ships. [via PTI]
Scientists have started designing the ship and associated systems such as radar, mission control centre, launch control centre, communication network and many other equipment needed for phase-II trials, Sarsawat told the press.
A total of five successful test of the BMD system have been carried out: Two using the PAD exo-atmospheric interceptor and three using the AAD endo-atmospheric interceptor.
On March 6, 2006 a PAD missile successfully intercepted a modified Dhanush surface-to-surface missile fired from INS Rajput anchored inside the Bay of Bengal, towards Wheeler Island, simulating a target “enemy” missile with a range of 1,500 km.
On November 27, 2006 a PAD missile intercepted a Prithvi ballistic missile at 48 km altitude.
The interceptor used a 'gimbaled directional warhead' or a warhead only one side of which explodes close to an incoming ballistic missile, shattering it.
The Advanced Air Defense (AAD) interceptor has so far been successfully tested up to an altitude of 15 kms.
The interceptor will next engage an incoming target missile at 30 km to validate the efficacy of the missile in its entire endo-atmospheric envelope.
A test of the AAD missile on March 15, 2010 at 1010 was aborted after the modified Prithvi (Dhanush) missile launched to simulate the target deviated from its flight path.
In the test, a Dhanush missile launched from a naval ship was be guided along a trajectory similar to that of an 1,500 km range Ghauri missile in its terminal phase zeroing in on the Wheeler Island, off Damra village on the Orissa coast. A PAD interceptor launched from Wheeler Island was to intercep the "enemy" missile with a hit to kill at 70-80 km.
In an explanatory statement, DRDO said:
"The target missile took off in normal way; at T+20 sec (approx) the target deviated due to some onboard system malfunction and could not maintain the intended trajectory, failing to attain the desired altitude profile. The Mission Control Centre computer found that the interception is not warranted as the deviated target did not present the incoming missile threat scenario and accordingly the system intelligently did not allow take-off of the interceptor missile for engaging the target. The cause of the target malfunction is being investigated by analysis of tele-metered data."
On March 18, after analyzing the telemetry and other data, DRDO scientists conclude they had figured out the reason for the failure.
The target missile reached an altitude of nearly 65 km and then spiralled down into the Bay of Bengal having travelled 27 km.
On April 11, 2010, DRDO Chief VK Sarsawat said:
“Analysis of the earlier trial revealed there was a leakage in the target missile leading to system failure. We are rectifying it to ensure the next flight test in June will hit the target and demonstrate our advance capability in developing the missile defence shield against any adversary missile attack.”
He was speaking at the sidelines of a national convention on 'The Frontiers of Aeronautical Technologies', organised by the Aeronautical Society of India in Bangalore..
A Prithvi target missile lifts off during a BMD test on July 26, 2010
A test of the AAD interceptor missile was conducted on Monday, July 26, 2010. The test was partially successful as the missile failed to score a direct hit.
A modified surface-to-surface Prithvi was launched from a mobile launcher at 10:05 am from launch complex-3 of ITR at Chandipur-on-sea.
The interceptor AAD missile, positioned at Wheeler Island, about 70 km across sea from Chandipur, engaged the target missile at an altitude of 15 km.
The warhead exploded within a few metres of the target missile releasing multiple bullet-like particles which hit and destroyed the target missile 26 seconds after its launch. The debris which fell into the sea was tracked by radars located along the coast.
The AAD missile for the first time used P-charge directional warhead.
A DRDO press release cryptically stated
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), today successfully conducted fourth consecutive Interceptor Missile test in Endo atmospheric regime at 15 Km altitude off ITR, Chandipur, Orissa. The single stage Interceptor Missile fitted with Directional Warhead and other advanced systems neutralized the target.
The target ballistic ‘enemy’ missile was launched from Launch Complex – III, ITR Chandipur. The Interceptor Missile fitted with directional warhead was launched from Wheeler Island and destroyed the Target Missile breaking it into fragments. This was tracked by various Radars and sensors. All weapon system elements including Command and Control, Communication and Radar performed satisfactorily.
AAD Interceptor missile test on Sunday, March 6, 2011.
An AAD interceptor missile armed with a P-charge directional warhead was successfully tested on Sunday, March 6, 2011.
A Target Missile mimicking an enemy Ballistic Missile with a 600-km range was launched from Launch Complex –III, ITR, Chandipur at 9.32 AM. The target missile climbed to an altitude of 120 km and began its downward trajectory.
The missile tracking network consisting of long range and multi function Radars and other Range sensors positioned at different locations detected and identified the incoming Missile threat.
The radars tracking the Ballistic Missile constructed the trajectory of the missile and continuous complex computations were done in real time by ground guidance computer to launch the interceptor at an exact time.
The fully automatic launch computer launched the interceptor at 9.37 AM and the onboard INS (Inertial Navigation System) and ground based Radars guided the interceptor to the target (incoming Ballistic Missile).
The Interceptor intercepted the Ballistic Missile at an altitude of 16 km and blasted the missile into pieces. It was a text book launch and all the events and mission sequence took place as expected.
The falling debris was tracked by various radars and sensors.
The test was witnessed by Scientific Advisor to Defense Minister V.K. Saraswat and other top DRDO officials.
Following the successful launch, Sarsawat told the press that after launch the interceptor maneuvered in the direction of the target; the maneuvered is referred to as the “least energy maneuver. In the terminal phase of the attacker's flight, as it was hurtling towards the earth, the interceptor's radio frequency seeker “acquired the target, rolled the interceptor in the right direction and, when it was a few meters from the target, gave the command to the directional warhead to explode,” Dr. Saraswat explained.
The warhead detonated, blasting the attacker to pieces. The ground-based radars and the sensors on board the targeted missile tracked the debris, which rained down over the Bay of Bengal, “confirming a very good kill,” the DRDO Director-General said. “Based on the data from the target, a 100 per cent kill was achieved.” The radars were located at Konark and Kendrapara, near Paradip, in Orissa.
It was earlier reported that the test would involve a maneuvering target missile. The report had quoted DRDO sources as saying it will be “a tricky mission” because the attacker would have a manoeuvrable trajectory and try to dodge the interceptor from homing in on it.
The test was earlier scheduled for for February 10, 2011.
The endo-atmospheric (AAD) missile interceptor was successfully tested on February 10, 2012.
During the test, the AAD-05 missile destroyed a modified Prithvi missile simulating an enemy ballistic missile at a height of 15 kms.
The Prithvi ballistic missile was launched at 1010hrs from ITR Chandipur. It was initially picked up and tracked by the LRTR near Puri and thereafter by the Multi Functional Radar located near the seaport town of Paradip.
Based on the tracking information from the radars, a guidance computers continuously computed the trajectory of ballistic missile and launched AAD-05 interceptor missile from Wheeler island at a precisely calculated time.
The guidance computer command guided the AAD-05 till the terminal phase of the interception, when an RF seeker on the interceptor obtained a lock on the target enabling the interceptor to hit the target missile directly and destroy it. The warhead on the interceptor also exploded and destroyed the target missile into pieces.
The Prithvi target missile, mimicking the trajectory of an enemy missiles with a range of 2,000-3,000 km, climbed to a height of 100 km before descending towards its assigned target.
Radar and electro optic tracking systems (EOTS) tracked the missile and also recorded
the fragments of target missile falling into the Bay of Bengal.
The test was the first in which the interceptor hit the incoming ballistic missile directly and destroyed it. The mission was carried out in the final deliverable user configuration mode.
The test was the fifth test of the AAD interceptor.
DRDO successfully demonstrated the ability of the BMD system to engage multiple target on November 23, 2012.
During the test, the BMD successfully intercepted a simulated electronic ballistic missile with a range of 1,500 km to 2,000 km at an altitude of 120 km using a simulated interceptor missile. It also scored an endo-atmospheric hit to kill against a shorter range ballistic missile (a modified Prithvi launched from Chandipur) at an altitude of 15 km over the Bay of Bengal.
The attacker Prihvi missile flew the trajectory of a missile with a range of 600 km to 1,000 km.
An Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile launched from Wheeler Island successfully intercepted the 'hostile' Prithvi and destroyed it at an altitude of 15 km at 12.52 p.m.
The test was witnessed by the Scientific Advisor to Defense Minister V.K. Saraswat, Chief Controller, (Missiles and Strategic Systems), Avinash Chander, Associate Director, Research Centre Imarat, Sateesh Reddy and Program Director, (AD Mission) Adalat Ali.
The test on November 23 was the eighth of the BMD. So far seven missions have been successful and one of them, the first one was conducted in exo-atmosphere at an altitude of 48 km in November 2006.
Two radars processed the simulated and real missiles and assigned launchers to engage them.
No interceptor was launched against the electronic missile, but the interception sequence was simulated to T minus zero second.
A day earlier, Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO told the press, "The Mission Control Center will process the two missiles and identify in real time which launcher is best suited to fire its missile against which target. Since one of the two attackers is an imaginary missile, we will not be firing a missile against that. But we will be going to the point of firing up to T-0."
Explaining the need for the test, Chander said, "The missile trial on November 23 (is) aimed at 'a deployable configuration' to intercept multiple adversarial missiles raining down on India.
"We are not able to launch live targets simultaneously because of the limitations of range and geometry. That is, since distances are not available, we are not able to fire two target missiles simultaneously."
Mr. Chander added: "In a real scenario, multiple ballistic missiles may be coming towards India which need to be handled. Our radars can track more than 200 missiles simultaneously. When multiple launchers are deployed, they can handle multiple missiles fired at us. We should be able to track them, process the signals, identify which is a threat and assign the specific launcher-missile that is best suited to intercept them. So far all our interceptor flight-trials have been one missile against one target … So the forthcoming interceptor mission would give the DRDO team a lot of confidence to simultaneously handle multiple targets."
The DRDO press release following the test said, "The Ring Laser Gyro based Navigation System in Target, Fibre Optic Gyro based INS in Interceptor, Onboard computers, Guidance systems, Actuation Systems and the critical RF Seekers used for the terminal phase have performed excellently. The AAD Missile system initially guided by Inertial Navigation system was continuously getting update of the target position by the Radar through a data link. The Radio Frequency (RF) seeker tracked the Missile & Onboard computer guided the Missile towards the Target Missile and hit the target.
"The Radio Proximity Fuse (RPF) exploded the warhead thereby destroying the target missile completely."
It added, "All the four missiles were tracked by the Radars and all the guidance and launch computers operated in full operational mode for handling multiple targets with multiple interceptor. All the four missiles were in the sky simultaneously and both the interceptions took place near simultaneously. This has proved the capability of DRDO to handle multiple targets with multiple interceptors simultaneously. The complete Radar Systems, Communication Networks, Launch Computers, Target update Systems and state of the art Avionics have been completely proven in this Mission."
A DRDO scientist told the press that teams from five centers - Launch Complex-III at Chandipur, LCC at Wheeler Island, Mission Control Centre, Hyderabad; Long Range Tracking Radar, Konarak; and Multi-Functional Tracking Radar, Paradip - participated in the successful November 23 mission.
SA to the Defense Minister, VK Saraswat told the Hindu that that test had demonstrated the maturity of all the BMD technologies, including the directional warhead, radio-frequency seeker as also various networks.
Avinash Chander, Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO, added that two major technologies were used for the first time: an indigenously-built fibre optic gyro-based INS system and a new class of warhead to provide a much higher velocity and better penetration and damage.
DRDO had scheduled a test of its PDV Phase-1 exo-atmospheric interceptor missile (See above) in end June - early July 2011.
"We will have a test in end June or early July and are calling this new missile the PDV and it will have two solid stages," Dr Saraswat had said.
In August 2011, DRDO’s Chief Controller for Missiles and Strategic Systems, Dr. Avinash Chander told Business India:
“We are planning more ABM trials in a month or two. Both exo and endo-atmospheric interceptors are doing well in development. We already have a demonstrated capability against enemy missiles that are fired from up to 2000 kilometres away. After some more trials we will be going into deployment mode. The ground systems and the missiles are going to be available… there is no issue.”
The Laser and Science Technology Centre (LASTEC) is also reported to be developing lasers to takeout enemy missiles during their boost phase, when they are most vulnerable.
"It's easier to kill a missile in boost phase as it has not gained much speed and is easier to target. It cannot deploy any countermeasures and it is vulnerable at that time," DRDO's Air Defense Program Director V K Saraswat told PTI in January 2009.
"In LASTEC, we are developing many of these technologies. We have to package these technologies on aircraft like the Americans have done on their systems," he added.
"It is an involved process and not just about producing lasers. We have to put in many systems like the surveillance and tracking systems together for such a system to work. It will take another 10-15 years before we talk of integrating all these elements," he said.
A Boost Phase Missile defense system will need to rely on a space based launch detection system like the SBIRS satellite constellation being deployed by the US. Unlike the SBIRS, which is global in scope, India would require a more limited system to monitor Pakistan and China. India could also buy into the US SBIRS while developing its own limited constellation.
ISRO is developing a satellite kill vehicle as part of its BMD system, according to DRDO Defense Research and Development Organization Director General V.K. Saraswat.
The hit-to-kill vehicle will use an imaging infra-red seeker and a 3-D laser image of a target satellite in low earth orbit to guide itself to impact.
No tests of the system have been scheduled so far.
"We are working to ensure space security and protect our satellites. At the same time we are also working on how to deny the enemy access to our space assets," Saraswat told newsmen at the Science Congress on January 4.
On February 10, DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat told the press that India’s BMD programme is more advanced than China’s.
“This (BMD) is one area where we are senior to China. We knew they had acquired the building blocks for BMD when they shot down a satellite in 2007. But we have been working on this programme since 1999.”