Ballistic Missile Interceptor

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Recently, The DRDO and Indian Navy successfully conducted a maiden flight trial of sea-based endo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the coast of Odisha.

Why in news?

  • India entered an elite club of nations with the capability to fire a Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) interceptor from a naval platform.
  • Prior to this, DRDO has successfully demonstrated land-based ballistic missile defence system with capability to neutralize ballistic missile threats, emerging from adversaries.

India’s Ballistic Missile Defence Programme:

  • India launched the BMD program after Kargil war in 1999 to counter the enemy nation’s widening spectrum of ballistic missiles that usually delivered both conventional and nuclear warheads.

Two-tires of BMD system

  • Prithvi Air Defence missile
    • It was originally tested in 2006 and is capable of intercepting and destroying missiles at exo-atmospheric altitudes ranging from 50 to 180 kilometres.
    • The Pradyumna interceptor has already replaced the Prithvi Air Defence BMD.
    • Exo-atmospheric missiles are capable of completing missions in the Earth's upper atmosphere.
  • Advanced Air Defence  Missile
    • The second layer is Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interception.
    • It was first tested in 2007 and designed to knock down hostile missiles in the endo-atmosphere at altitudes of 15-40 KM.
    • The endo-atmospheric missiles are the ones that operate within the earth's atmosphere that covers an altitude below 100 KM.

Q1) What is a nuclear warhead?

A nuclear warhead is a type of explosive device that uses nuclear reactions to release an enormous amount of energy in the form of a nuclear explosion. Nuclear warheads are generally designed to be mounted on ballistic missiles or other delivery systems.

Source: India successfully tests sea-based ballistic missile interceptor, joins elite club