India to have shield from missiles of 5,000 km range

MissileThe capability is being developed by DRDO as part of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield. (Reuters)

India's missile defence system is set to get a big boost as it is developing capability to intercept enemy missiles fired from a distance of up to 5,000km, in effect tackling any possible threat from countries such as China.

The capability is being developed by DRDO as part of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield, whose first phase is ready for deployment possibly in Delhi.

Development of the first phase of the BMD programme has been completed, DRDO chief Avinash Chander told PTI in an interview.

Under this, the BMD shield can tackle enemy missiles fired at from ranges up to 2,000 km.

Taking this forward, the DRDO is enhancing the capability of BMD in phase-II to deal with threat from missiles of longer range of up to 5,000 km.

"We are planning to soon carry out the first trial of the phase-II of the programme under which we will test our capability to destroy an incoming ballistic missile fired at us from 5,000 km range," said Chander, who took over charge earlier this month.

"Such a capability meets our immediate threat perception," he said when asked if it would cover the threat of such missiles being fired from countries such as China.

Under the phase II of the programme, all the components of such a missile shield including the radar and interceptor missiles would be new and will have extended ranges, the DRDO chief said.

"The phase II missiles would be totally different from phase-I. In this programme, you need to travel more and intercept further away," Chander said.

While giving details of the programme, he said the phase-I of the shield is ready for deployment.

Asked which city would be the first to be protected by the missile shield, he said, "The first choice for such a deployment would be the capital, New Delhi, as it is the heart of the country."

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