Indian Interceptor Missile – “Ashwin” shocks the world
Advanced Air Defence (AAD) is an anti-ballistic missile designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles in the endo-atmosphere at an altitude of 30 km (19 mi). AAD is a single-stage, solid-fuelled missile.The interceptor is a 7.5-meter long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator
The interceptor missile is equipped with its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.
India has a double-layered BMD system capable of tracking and destroying hostile missiles both inside (endo) and outside (exo) the earth’s atmosphere. The success of the AAD test will boost India strengthen its position in the exclusive club of US, Russia and Israel.
The Prithivi Air Defense (PAD) system will provide long-range high-altitude ballistic missile interception during an incoming missile’s midcourse phase, while the Advanced Air Defense system offers short-range, low-altitude defense against missiles in the terminal phase of their trajectory.
At first glance, the Prithvi Air Defense missile seems quite capable, with a range of 1,250 miles and a maximum altitude of 260,000 feet, making it an exospheric interceptor. The missile is programmed prior to launch by the BMD command center on an intercept trajectory, which it maintains using an inertial navigation system. It receives midcourse updates to its trajectory using data from the Swordfish radar, and then in the terminal approach phase switches to its own active radar seeker and destroys the target with a proximity-fused warhead.
For defense at low-altitudes, the solid-fuel Advanced Air Defense system, or Ashwin, uses an endospheric (within the Earth’s atmosphere) interceptor that knocks out ballistic missiles at a maximum altitude of 60,000 to 100,000 feet, and across a range between 90 and 125 miles.
Ashwin has the ability to react and engage Ballistic missiles which are in terminal stage and has kill capability against maneuvering warhead by calculating the re entry missile’s course in terminal condition and head against it with violent counter maneuvers and finally hitting it before the warhead reaches its intended destination.
Ashwin is known for its faster response rate during target detection and has the ability to kill the Ballistic missiles which are in the class of 10-14 Mach rentry speed during its terminal phase.
Ashwin’s guidance package consists of an Active RF seeker along with it has a fibre optic gyroscope (FOG) with 0.1 degree/hr drift at the heart of an INS which receives updates from ground based radars such as the Long Range Tracking Radar (LRTR) and the Multi-function Fire Control Radar (MFCR) constantly. In the course of flight, AAD can achieve high supersonic speed and the efficacy of its thermal protection systems as well as that of its actuation system has been demonstrated repeatedly and it’s 3D thrust vector nozzles helps increase the missiles AoA against head on kill against warhead.
On the matter of Radars, then the version of the LRTR used in current AAD system is an L-band array that can track a ballistic target with a radar cross section (RCS) of 0.1 sqm from over 1500 km away. MFCR, which is an S-band array has a tracking range of over 370 km for a target with a RCS of 0.3 sqm. Both radars are capable of variable track rates.
India also has several additional forthcoming systems with application to ballistic missile defense: an extended-range variant of the Barak-8 naval surface-to-air missile currently under development with Israel called the LR-SAM or Barak-8ER (projected range: 93 miles), and five Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles systems, capable of firing Mach 8-plus missiles over a range of 200 miles. These will supplement S-300Vs already in Indian service that have some ABM capability.
With an effective anti-ballistic missile system, India is the fourth country in the world to have a BMD programme. Other countries which have developed a ballistic missile defence system include the US, Russia and Israel. The defence official said though the BMD programme is triggered by growing arsenal of the neighbouring countries, India has been maintaining a no-first-use principle
India is hurrying up the deployment of an advanced missile defence system to stave off threats from ballistic missiles at a time China’s arsenal is growing in sophistication and numbers. Pursuing its ballistic missile defence (BMD) program, the country planned to carry out at least eight more tests to knock out incoming missiles before the capability is ready for deployment by the end of 2016, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief Avinash Chander told Hindustan Times in September 2014. The upcoming trials include five endo-atmospheric and three exo-atmospheric tests to destroy hostile missiles within and outside the earth’s atmosphere. The DRDO claimed that the integration of the two intercept systems would result in a hit-to-kill probability of 99.8%.
A final note regarding the testing track records of the Prithvi and AAD: ABM tests are often conducted under ideal conditions more forgiving than those that would be encountered in a realistic combat scenario. The tests appear to have been conducted against slower SRBMs that do not employ evasive maneuvers or decoys. Therefore, claims that the BMD system would have a 98 percent hit probability rate should not be taken too literally.
With an effective anti-ballistic missile system, India is the fourth country in the world to have a BMD programme. Other countries which have developed a ballistic missile defence system include the US, Russia and Israel. The defence official said though the BMD programme is triggered by growing arsenal of the neighbouring countries, India has been maintaining a no-first-use principle.