The interceptor missile travels at almost five times the speed of sound

NEW DELHI: India today successfully tested a "Star Wars"-like system of an incoming enemy missile being destroyed by another missile. India has become the fourth country in the world to master the technology of hitting a missile with a missile. In the test carried out at 9:45 am from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha, a direct hit destroyed an incoming hostile missile, actually a modified Prithvi missile. The Ministry of Defence told NDTV that the test of the indigenously developed and built Advanced Air Defence supersonic interceptor missile was a success.

Here are 10 facts about India's Advanced Air Defence missile:

1. The supersonic interceptor missile is capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile in low altitude.

2. In today's test, an incoming ballistic missile target was intercepted within 30-kilometre altitude of the Earth's atmosphere.

3. Sources told NDTV that today's test was conducted to ensure various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode. Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Defence told NDTV that the high-speed interceptor missile was the ninth test of this futuristic air defence system.

4. The target was a Prithvi missile launched from the Integrated Missile Test Range in Chandipur.

5. The single-stage solid fuelled interceptor missile travels at almost five times the speed of sound.

6. The state-of-the-art interceptor missile has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and sophisticated radars.

7. This is the third supersonic interceptor test carried out this year. The missile will be used to protect high-value installations if targeted by enemy ballistic missiles.

8. The earlier two tests were conducted on March 1 and February 11, 2017.

9. India is developing another advanced missile defence system where higher speed ballistic missiles can be intercepted.

10. India is the fourth country after the US, Russia and Israel to acquire this technology.