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India tests hypersonic interceptor missile

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NEW DELHI, December 6 (RIA Novosti) - India successfully tested on Thursday a hypersonic Advanced Air Defense (AAD-02) interceptor missile, part of the future multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, national media reported.

The new interceptor missile was fired from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range on Wheeler Island off Orissa's east coast, and hit a Prithvi target missile, which was fired 70 nautical miles (around 130 km) away, from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea.

The interceptor flies at a velocity of Mach 4 and is fitted with up-to-date navigation and homing equipment.

"All the elements of BMD required for control and monitoring performed in a copybook fashion validating the design of the 'endo-atmospheric' layer of BMD system," Newstrack India quoted a military official as saying.

The Indian military also said the "totally new" missile could destroy any incoming ballistic missiles at low altitude.

India's Defense Research and Development Organization successfully carried out a missile interception test at an altitude of 50 km on November 27, 2006.

India, encouraged by a number of successful missile interceptor launches, is steadily moving closer to the exclusive BMD club currently shared by the U.S., Russia and Israel.

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