India to test ballistic missile interceptor Friday

India is preparing to test a ballistic missile interceptor from a defence base in Odisha on Friday, an official said Thursday.

The indigenous Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile would be fired from Wheeler Island off the coast near Dhamra in Bhadrak district and kill an incoming ballistic missile to be launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore.

"The test is likely to be conducted during the morning hour. It is a developmental trial," a defence scientist involved in the exercise said.

The Friday test would be conducted for endo-atmospheric interception in which the interceptor reaches its target within the earth atmosphere.

India is developing the interceptors which have been successfully tested several times in the past, to provide air-shield to important Indian cities against hostile attacks.

The preparations are underway for the launch at both the sites. senior defence scientists, including V.K. Saraswat, the Chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation and the scientific advisor to Defence Minister A.K. Antony, have already arrived to oversee the launch.

During the exercise, a modified surface-to-surface Prithvi missile would act as a hostile target which would be lifted off from ITR at Chandipur-on-sea, about 230 km from Bhubaneswar.

The interceptor missile would be launched from Wheeler Island, about 70 km across sea from Chandipur to destroy the target.

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