Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Indian Target Missile Malfunctions During Intercept Test

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
March 17, 2010

NEW DELHI — A flight test March 15 to demonstrate the endoatmospheric interception of a tactical ballistic missile failed when the target missile deviated from its trajectory, according to an official announcement from the Indian defense ministry.
A new target missile is expected to be ready to repeat the test in June.
As part of the mission, a target missile mimicking an incoming ballistic missile was launched from the Interim Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur in East India.
Spread over a length of 17 kilometers (11 miles) along the sea coast, the ITR was set up in 1989 at Chandipur-On-Sea, 15 kilometers from Balasore, Orissa in eastern India, as a dedicated range for launching rockets, missiles and flight test vehicles.
Many tracking instruments are positioned there to cover the total flight path of the test vehicles. Test facilities at ITR include the Electro-Optical Tracking system S-Band Tracking Radar, C-Band Tracking Radar and a mobile and fixed Telemetry
The target missile — a modified variant of the Prithvi tactical surface-to-surface, short-range ballistic missile — took off nominally. At about T+20 seconds the target deviated, possibly due to a subsystem malfunction, and could not maintain its trajectory, failing to attain the desired altitude.
The Mission Control Center computer found that interception was not warranted as the deviated target did not fit an incoming missile threat scenario. Accordingly, the system did not launch the interceptor missile to engage the target, according
to the Defense Research & Development Organization.
The flight test validated the performance of the Advanced Air Defense system, a defense official told Aviation Week. It was the second flight test for the system.
Late in 2007, the system had successfully intercepted a modified Prithvi-II missile acting as an incoming ballistic missile.
The endoatmospheric interception was carried out at an altitude of 15 kilometers.
- Neelam Mathews (

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