India Conducts Maiden Test Of AD-1 Ballistic Missile Interceptor

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful maiden flight-test of Phase-II Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) interceptor AD-1 missile on November 2. The missile was tested from APJ Abdul Kalam Island on India’s east coast. The flight-test was carried out with participation of all BMD weapon system elements located at different geographical locations, a press release stated.

The AD-1 is a long-range interceptor missile designed for both low exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric interception of long-range ballistic missiles as well as aircraft, across a large kill altitude bracket. It is propelled by a two-stage solid rocket motor and equipped with an indigenous advanced control system, navigation and guidance algorithms to precisely guide the vehicle to the target. 

During the maiden flight-test, all the sub-systems reportedly performed as per expectations and were validated by the data captured by a number of range sensors including radar, telemetry and electro-optical tracking stations.

The AD-1 is one of the two missiles associated with Phase-II of India’s BMD programme. The AD-2 missile will be used to intercept exo-atmospheric targets. Phase-I involved three missiles: Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile, Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile and Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV). 

PAD and AAD are intended for endoatmospheric interception, with PAD using a liquid propellant second stage and largely used only in the initial stages of development of Phase-I. PDV uses a terminal IIR seeker instead of the active radar homing of AAD. India’s ASAT missile, tested in 2019, was also based on PDV. Both PDV and AAD have been operationalised.

Loading system for AD-1 (Adithya)

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and other teams associated with the successful flight trial of AD-1. He termed it as a unique type of interceptor with advanced technologies available with a very few nations in the world. He exuded confidence that it will further strengthen the country’s BMD capability to the next level.

DRDO Chairman Dr. Samir V Kamat congratulated his team on the successful trial, stating that this interceptor will provide great operational flexibility to the users and have capability to engage many different types of targets.