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India develops new anti-missile system
A K Dhar, New Delhi, Nov 27 (PTI) India today unvieled an indigenous supersonic anti-missile system with defence scientists saying it had the capability to intercept incoming ballastic missiles thousands of miles away.

Labelled only as AXO (Atmospheric Intercept System), the supersonic missile underwent its baptism when it successfully intercepted a surface-to-surface Prithvi target missile at an altitude of 40 to 50 km over the seas off the interim test range site in Chandipur in Orissa.

"It is a new missile and not part of country's Integrated Guided Missile programme," top DRDO officials said on the condition of anonymity.

"We have been working on this anti-missile system for years," scientists said and claimed that missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capability and its own radar.

"The missile has response time of 30 seconds and once it detects a target it can be launched in 50 seconds," the scientists said.

While, affirming that India would still be observing the US Patriot-III anti missile shield, which Washington is developing, the scientists said that the Indian missiles was "in the class of its own".

DRDO did not reveal the contours of the new system developed.

"It is completely an indigenous missile," DRDO officials said when asked if any foreign help had been sought in it's development.

"The missile has high manoeuvrability, terminal homing with radar seekers and can operate independent of ground radar help," they said adding the missile could be co-related to ground and air based radars.

The missiles which are 10 to 12 metres long have divert thrusters that can generate high lateral acceleration and can undertake critical mission of air defence too, officials said.

DRDO has been working on making the Trishul missiles into an anti-missile system, but the system had failed many critical tests.

DRDO officials did not say whether some of the systems of the Trishul missile had been incorporated into the new yet experimental interceptor missile, but added "the new system has no commonality with the Akash surface-to-air missiles".

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
FILED IN: Defence
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