India today successfully test-fired a new surface-to-air missile developed jointly with Israel, from a defence base off Odisha coast.
The medium range missile, which will fulfill a huge Indian army requirement, was fired from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur around 8.15 am, said an official of the Defence Research and Development Organization or DRDO.
“The test launch was a grand success and it met all the targets,” he said.
The missile swung into action after a signal from radars to intercept a moving aerial target carried by an unmanned air vehicle ‘Banshee’ over the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and to guide the missile.
“The missile will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats,” said a DRDO scientist.
A DRDO research lab based in Hyderabad has jointly developed this missile in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries.
Officials say a new production facility to deliver 100 missiles a year has been set up for long range and medium range surface-to-air missiles.
The missile testing was earlier set for yesterday, but the plan was reportedly deferred at the last moment.
Earlier, the Indian Navy had successfully test launched a long range surface-to-air missile from INS Kolkata in December last year.
Medium range surface-to-air missiles with strike ranges from 50 to 70 km can fill the gap that India has in its armory at present, say officials.
These missiles will be inducted in all three services.
As a safety measure, over 3,600 people living within a 2.5 km radius of the launch pad were temporarily shifted by the administration to nearby shelters, an official said.
Fishermen in three coastal districts, Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada, were asked to stay away from the sea during the test launch.