Bhubaneswar, India: India’s homegrown interceptor defence shield developed to detect and destroy incoming ballistic missiles failed during a test on Monday, military officials said.
The test was abandoned when the radars following the target, a nuclear-capable missile, lost track of it after it blasted off from a site 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Bhubaneswar in eastern India.
“The ‘hostile’ missile went off the radars after it took off and deviated from its trajectory and so the interceptor was not launched,” an official from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said, asking not to be named.
DRDO spokesman Ravi Gupta in New Delhi confirmed the seven-metre (23-foot foot) interceptor missile was not launched during Monday’s botched test.
India would join Israel, Russia and the United States in developing and possessing such technology if it is rolled out per schedule this year.
The system’s tracking and fire control radars have been developed by the DRDO jointly with Israel and France.
Last month, India announced it would test a nuclear-capable missile with a range of over 5,000 kilometres within a year.
India’s current longest-range nuclear-capable missile, Agni-III, can travel 3,500 kilometres.
Nuclear-armed Pakistan, with which India has fought three wars since their independence six decades ago, has said India’s missile programme could trigger a new arms race in the region.