Explained: India’s Ballistic Missile Defence programme, developed by DRDO

By The Week

India’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme, which aims to provide an air-defence shield from all types of hostile missiles, even the nuclear ones, is complete. The Indian Air Force is deploying all of these assets, which are developed by the country’s premier defence research agency DRDO.

India’s BMD programme was launched after the 1999 Kargil war, keeping in mind Pakistan’s expanding missile arsenal. China also played a key role in supporting Pakistan’s missile programme.

The homegrown BMD was two-tiered – the first layer is the Prithvi Air Defence, which can intercept and destroy missiles at exo-atmospheric altitudes of 50–180 kilometres. Pradyumna Ballistic Missile Interceptor is going to replace the Prithvi air defence, according to a defence official.

The second layer is Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interception, which is designed to knock down hostile missiles in the endo-atmosphere at altitudes of 15-40 kilometres. Akash Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM) is part of AAD.

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