Monday, September 7, 2015

Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Phase-2 Floating Test Range Construction Underway

BMD Interceptor AAD-05 during 7th system test 
Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is gearing up for Phase-2 development of its Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system. To facilitate testing of BMD Phase-2 interceptor missile, DRDO has ordered construction of a floating test range (FTR) - a 10,000 ton ship that will be used to launch target missiles from far out in the sea.

Under BMD Phase-1, which is currently underway, DRDO would develop and deploy a system for defense against missiles with less than 2,000 km range like Pakistan's Ghauri and Shaheen missiles and China's solid-fuel Dongfeng-21 (NATO designation: CSS-5).

Under BMD Phase-2, system capability will be upgraded to defend against missiles with ranges greater than 2,000 km that can additionally deploy decoys or maneuver.

Additional Test Range Requirements

India currently has two missile test ranges at Chandipur and Wheeler Island.

Test of BMD Phase-2 system would require two ranges placed well apart along the missile trajectory. DRDO is developing the two new missile ranges at Machilipatnam in Seema Andhra and Rutland Island in the Andamans.

Target missiles would be launched from specially constructed ships. Besides a launch pad for the target missile, the ship will be fitted with associated systems such as radar, mission control center, launch control center, communication network and numerous other equipment.

The FTR would enable DRDO scientists to conduct realistic BMD tests without the need to evacuate a large number of people. It will make testing more realistic by allowing DRDO to freely chose target missile trajectory.

Construction and operationalization of the floating range / ship would take at least three to four years.

A DRDO scientist told The Hindu, the FTR "will pave the way for conducting trials for different trajectories, varying altitudes and also for higher ranges. We can go up to 1,000-1,500 km without any problem. Currently, we have to conduct simulation tests for longer ranges."

Ocean Surveillance Ship

In December 2014 MoD sanctioned Rs 725 crore for the construction of Ocean Surveillance Ship (OSS) at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), Visakhapatnam as part of DRDO's BMD program

The ship, P-11184, will feature a helicopter deck and hangar, a long open deck with space for several tracking antennae located at the aft of the forward superstructure.

Dedicated to DRDO's BMD program, the ship will be operated by the Indian Navy.

Designed by Vik Sandvik Design India, the ship has a length of 175 m, a beam of 22 m, a depth of 6 m and and a displacement of over 10,000 tons. It will be powered by 2 x 9,000 kw engines, giving it a maximum speed of 21 knots.

The OSS project is classified and monitored directly by the Prime Minister’s Office. The ship’s keel was laid on June 30, 2014 and the shipyard has been given a timeline of December, 2015 to finish the project.

IDP Sentinel members can read more at the link below

Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System (IDP Sentinel)

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