Maiden flight-test of phase-II ballistic missile defence interceptor AD-1. The DRDO conducted a successful flight test of ballistic missile defence interceptor AD-1

With the launch of the ballistic missile defence interceptor AD-1, India can now detect and destroy enemy missiles fired at it from 5,000 km away.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Thursday said India can now detect and destroy enemy ballistic missiles fired at it from 5,000 km. This comes a day after it launched the newly developed missile defence interceptor AD-1.

The missile AD-1 is part of the phase 2 development programme of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield and can destroy both ballistic missiles and low-flying fighter aircraft.

"We initially developed the phase 1 capability to destroy incoming missiles of 2,000 km. Yesterday’s test now helped us to intercept any missile of the 5,000 km strike range," DRDO chairman Samir Kamat said.

"If our enemies target from long range, we now have the capability to intercept. It is a significant jump in our capability against ballistic missiles," he said. Kamat said that once Indian systems pick up the enemy missile, "It will be able to track it, our defence system can be activated and the missile can be intercepted."

He said the missile is mainly endo-atmospheric but it also works in the low Exo-Atmospheric region. "We are parallelly developing for a high Exo-atmospheric region", he added. "By 2025, we should be able to prove our capability, including this AD-1 missile as well as the high Exo-atmospheric missile. We are fully confident of making this by 2025," Kamat said.

Once the system is developed, the government will take a call on its deployment at different locations.

The entire BMD system includes long-range tracking radars which can detect the launch of missiles from submarines, land-based systems, aerial platforms or warships.