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India tests nuclear interceptor missile

PM hails missile test, says Congress will ask for ‘proof’

New Delhi, Feb 11: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Saturday successfully test fired a Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) interceptor missile designed to intercept and destroy hostile ballistic missiles in space even before they enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

This further enhances India’s capability of dealing with a nuclear attack threat.

At 7.45 a.m., on the east coast of India, an incoming missile was successfully intercepted at a height of 100 km with a direct hit by an interceptor missile, said a DRDO official. The PDV can reach even higher altitudes.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister rendra Modi at a rally said: “Today (Saturday) our scientists have made a missile that could attack an incoming missile in the sky. Only four-five countries in the world have done this.” The two stage PDV missile is part of the two layered Ballistic Missile Defence system developed by the DRDO, the research and development wing of the Defence Ministry, with the Hyderabad based Research Centre Imaarat (RCI) as the nodal laboratory. Its interception window spans from 80-120 km.

The fully automated system consists of a network of sensors, computers and launchers, designed to intercept hostile ballistic missiles, possibly carrying nuclear weapons and destroy them before they can cause any damage.

This was the second test of the PDV.

While hailing the successful test-firing of an interceptor missile, Prime Minister rendra Modi on Saturday took pot shots at the Congress party saying they would ask for proof of the test.

Addressing another rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun, Modi said, “You hear news about some country developing missiles with range of 5,000 km or 8,000 km. Last month, you must have heard the news of Pakistan developing a missile that can destroy the Andaman Islands.”

“But let me tell you, India has no dearth of missiles. And today, our scientists have achieved a feat which has made the entire country proud,” Modi said hours after India successfully test-fired its interceptor missile off the Odisha coast.

“The missile test fired today can intercept incoming missiles and destroy them 150 km into the sky. Only four or five countries so far have achieved this feat,” said Modi. (IANS)