DRDO PAD/AAD Ballistic Missile Defence System,Indian Armed Forces

DRDO PAD/AAD Ballistic Missile Defence System,Indian Armed Forces

The Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defence system to protect from ballistic missile attacks.

Introduced in light of the ballistic missile threat from Pakistan and China, The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing  a two-tier Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system that  consists of two interceptor missiles, namely the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile for high altitude interception, and the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interception.

The two-tier system is intended to destroy an incoming missile, at a higher altitude, in the exo-atmosphere and if that miscarries, an endo-atmospheric interception will take place. It can intercept incoming missiles at exo-atmospheric altitudes of 150km and endo-atmospheric altitudes of 80km. The two-tiered shield should be able to intercept any incoming missile launched 5,000 kilometres away.

PAD was tested in November 2006, followed by AAD in December 2007. On 6 March 2009, India again successfully tested its missile defence shield, during which an incoming “enemy” missile was intercepted at an altitude of 75 km. An advanced version of the BMD system was also test fired in 2011. The first phase became operational in 2012 and the second phase will become operational in 2016.With this India became the fourth country to have successfully developed an Anti-Ballistic missile system after US,Russia and Israel.DRDO PAD/AAD Ballistic Missile Defence System,Indian Armed Forces

DRDO PAD/AAD Ballistic Missile Defence System Development phase

India began the development of the ballistic missile defence system in 1998. The development was planned in two stages. The first phase was challenging due to the complex technologies and indigenous mission systems employed in the mission.It is 10 m tall and weighs around 5.2 tonnes and has diameter of 1m.

After eight years of development, the first missile test was conducted in November 2006. The Prithvi-II missile was successfully intercepted by the PAD in the endo-atmosphere at an altitude of 48km.In December 2007, AAD missile fired from Wheeler Island intercepted a simulated electronic missile at an altitude of 15km over the Bay of Bengal. The third test was successfully conducted in March 2009.

prithvi2Don’t Miss the Prithvi Missiles SRBM (Short Range Ballistic Missiles),Indian Strategic Command Forces

The Prithvi was India’s first indigenously developed ballistic missile produced by the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). It is a road-mobile, short range ballistic missile (SRBM) powered by a single-stage, two engines, and liquid-fuel.It is deployed by India’s Strategic Forces Command.

The fourth test planned in March 2010 was terminated due to technical issues. DRDO test fired the AAD missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island in July 2010.

DRDO plans to develop two new ballistic missiles, namely AD-1 and AD-2, in phase 2 of the missile shield development. The AD-1 and AD-2 interceptors can engage intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) / intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

DRDO PAD/AAD Ballistic Missile Defence System,Indian Armed Forces

The missile can be launched from an 8 x 8 Tatra transporter-erector.

Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) Ballistic missile interceptor

The Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) is an anti-ballistic missile developed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere (exo-atmospheric).PAD is a two stage missile based on the Prithvi missile. Also known as Pradyumna, PAD has a maximum interception altitude of 80km. The first stage is solid fuelled and the second stage is liquid fuelled. The missile is equipped with manoeuvre thrusters for lateral acceleration. It can engage the ballistic missiles (300km-2,000km range) at a speed of Mach 5.

pad5

Guidance/navigation system

The missile can be based on Proximity detonation mechanism.Guidance is provided by Inertial Navigation System (INS) with mid-course updates from LRTR and active radar homing in the terminal phase (it is the method to find and track its target autonomously).Also it uses Long Range Tacking Radar for target acquisition and fire control , having capability to track 200 targets at a range of 600 km.

The improved missile is equipped with a gimballed directional warhead, a technology currently used by US and Russia. Trajectory optimisation enables interception at both higher and lower altitudes.This technology also allows for a smaller warhead to destroy the target missile.The PAD missile is being replaced with PDV which can engage RBMs of up to 2,000km range.

The missile s launch from Tatra TEL 8×8 mobile launcher.

Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Ballistic Missile Interceptor

AAD is a single stage solid rocket propellent guided missile designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in endo-atmosphere at an altitude of 30 km.The missile also known as Ashwin Ballistic missile.

The AAD weighs around 1200 kg and 7.5 m long with diameter less than 0.5m.It is based on Kinetic kill (Hit-to-kill) detonation mechanism.It can hit the target at the speed of Mach 4.5 and destroy it with its full kinetic energy.

Guidance and navigation system are similar to PAD:equipped with an inertial navigation system,advanced computer and an electro-mechanical activator. The missile can be launched from an 8 x 8 Tatra transporter-erector.

pad1

Swordfish RADAR

Swordfish is a long-range tracking radar developed for the BMD system. It was derived from the Israeli Green Pine long range radar. A test conducted in March 2009 validated the long-range capabilities of the radar.

Swordfish guides the exo-atmospheric interceptor missile PAD to engage aerial targets at altitudes over 80km. The radar can detect very small targets within the range of 600km-800km. DRDO plans to upgrade the range of Swordfish to 1,500 km by 2011.pad3

PDV-Prithvi interceptor Missile

The DRDO is developing a new two stage solid rocket propellent  Prithvi Interceptor missile codenammed PDV.PDV is expected to replace the existing PAD in the PAD/AAD Combination.It will also have IIR (Infinite Impulse Response) seeker for its kill vehicle as well.

The first PDV was successfully test fired on 27 April 2014.The PDV will replace the PAD with a far more capable missile.

Check out the video of DRDO PAD/AAD Ballistic Missile Defence System.Indian Armed Forces

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Vivek Bhardwaj
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