India conducted the first tests of the Advanced Air Defense (AAD) countermissile, which will lay the foundation for the nation's missile defense system. The missile was launched from a mobile launching system on the test ground in the state of Orissa, in the east of India. The countermissile detected and destroyed a target in the upper layers of the atmosphere above the ocean surface, The Times of India says.
AAD is capable of striking warheads of enemy ballistic missiles. This missile is a modified version of the Prithvi surface-to-surface missile. It is a single-stage rocket outfitted with the in-flight guidance system, designed to intercept and destroy objects at altitudes up to 30 kilometers.
India has been testing the missile since November 2006. The most recent test is the fourth one. In the meantime, experts of India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) are currently developing a two-staged missile for the nation's missile defense system. The new missile is said to be capable of striking nuclear warheads before the moment of their entrance into the atmosphere at the altitude of up to 80 kilometers.
The Indian missile defense system is to be complete in 2015.
The previous test of the AAD missile (in March of this year) ended with a failure. The Prithvi countermissile blasted off successfully, but failed to strike the target, RIA Novosti reports.
In addition, in March of this year India also tested two ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The tests were conducted in the state of Orissa as well and were recognized as successful.