19 May 2017

News Story: India's MoD demands early induction of ballistic missile defense system

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By: Vivek Raghuvanshi

NEW DELHI — To ensure the early induction of India's homemade ballistic missile defense system, the country's Ministry of Defence has directed the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organization to urgently submit a final induction strategy and timeline for the BMD system.

A senior MoD official said the ministry "is even considering to carry out an audit of DRDO claims about the performance of the tests."

Despite tall claims made by DRDO five years ago regarding completion of the first phase, there remains no word from the agency on the project's completion, the MoD official added. DRDO has been developing the indigenous BMD system since 1995. 

It was in the wake of the system's delay that India last year cleared the $5 billion purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia; however, the final contract is yet to be inked.

DRDO had earlier said that by 2012 or 2013, the first phase of the BMD shield would be ready to protect New Delhi from hostile missiles with a 2,000-kilometer range. It also boasted that by 2016, the second phase would be operational, allowing the system to kill hostile missiles with a 5,000-kilometer range. 

Regarding a potential audit of the authenticity of DRDO's BMD system claims based on a variety of tests, Mahindra Singh, a retired Indian Army major general, said: "It is important to know whether the interceptor missile hit the incoming missile during trials because a remote fuze can also detonate the incoming missile, and there is no guarantee whether the incoming missile [was] actually hit by the interceptor missile."

Read the full story at DefenseNews