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India to test ballistic missile defence system in August

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A file photo of the Prithvi ballistic missile launch.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The indigenously developed ballistic missile defence system will be test fired in August this year, a top defence official said Thursday.

"Now the (ballistic missile defence system) test is going to be conducted in the month of August during which we will try to intercept a missile at altitudes of 15-20 kilometres," DRDO chief V K Saraswat told reporters here.

The ballistic missile defence system is being developed by the premier Defence Research and Development Organisation to thwart an enemy missile attack.

Referring to the failed test of the system on March 15, he said, "The anti-missile system is a two-tiered system where you first launch the target missile and then you launch the hit missile. Since the target was not launched as planned, the anti ballistic missile system did not trigger."

Saraswat said that the DRDO was taking precautions to prevent any failure in the August test.

"Whenever there is a deviation, we will always take precautions. This is part of our development process," he said.

India plans to deploy the first phase of the missile shield by 2012 after completing a series of trials and evaluating its target range.

Two different missiles have been developed as part of the system for endo-atmospheric and exo-atmospheric interception of an incoming ballistic missiles.

Replying to a query on the Indo-Israeli joint venture to develop a medium range surface-to-air missile, the DRDO chief said, "More than 70 per cent of the content in the missile being developed with Israel would be indigenous."

Noting that the programme was going ahead smoothly, Saraswat said that agencies such as the BDL, the BEL and the DRDO have been designated for the project.

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