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India Plans Patriot-Type Test For Prithvi

The Prithvi missile.
by Martin Sieff
UPI Senior News Analyst
Washington (UPI) Jan 31, 2007
India's BMD engineers, riding high after their first successful test of the Prithvi anti-ballistic missile interceptor in November, are now planning an equally ambitious lower attitude test of the system in June, Defense News reported Monday.

"When an Indian interceptor rocket rammed a ballistic target some 50 kilometers (30 miles) above Ballasore in the eastern part of the country on Nov. 27, it demonstrated a capability that is potentially similar to Israel's Arrow-2," Defense News said, citing Indian officials.

In June, "India will attempt to mimic the U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system with a lower-altitude test of the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) system," the report said.

If successful, the June test would give India the prospect of developing its own reliable anti-ballistic missile interceptor that could give Delhi the two-tiered protection of the Patriot and Arrow systems combined.

Vijay Kumar Saraswat, the veteran engineer who is the visionary driving force of the Indian BMD program in the nation's Defence Research and Development Organization, told Defense News that if the June test was successful it would put India in the same league as Russia and the United States, the two nations with the most advanced and reliable anti-ballistic missile systems.

Saraswat told Defense News the PAD had "two intercept modes, each designed to hit a target within four minutes: exo-atmospheric, or above 50 kilometers (30 miles); and endo-atmospheric, or lower than about 30 kilometers (18 miles)," the report said.

Defense News said the PAD's main sensor "for exo-atmospheric intercepts" was the 360-mile range Israeli-built Green Pine radar. "India imported two Green Pines three years ago, one in operating condition and one as a kit that it assembled," Defense News said.

The report said the PAD's interceptor rocket was "powered by a liquid-fueled first stage that uses two propellants and oxidizers, and a solid-fuel second stage with a gas thruster that can turn the rocket at more than five Gs. The missile carries active radar sensors to guide it to its target."

"The system includes one radar that tracks both the incoming missile and the outgoing interceptor, another that helps classify the incoming weapon and sends data to the interceptor batteries, command-and-control computers, and a transmitter to help guide the interceptors," Defense News said, citing another DRDO scientist.

Source: United Press International

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Prague (AFP) Jan 31, 2007
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolonek said Wednesday his government opposed holding a referendum on plans for the United States to build part of an anti-missile shield in the country. "We do not recommend the referendum", he was quoted as saying by the Czech news agency CTK, as he formally presented the issue to members of four parliamentary committees meeting in joint session.

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