India on Thursday morning successfully test-fired its new surface-to-air (LR SAM) missile from a defence base off the coast of Odisha. The missile has been jointly developed by India and Israel.
The missile was test-fired at around 8:15 a.m. from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, which is about 15 kilometres from Balasore in Odisha. "The test launch was a grand success and it met all the targets," a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) official was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.
Apart from the missile, the system includes a multi-functional surveillance and threat alert radar (MF STAR), which is used for the purpose of detection, tracking and guidance of the missile, the Indian Express reported. The test launch was earlier scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed to the next day.
PTI further quoted the official as saying that "the missile along with MF-STAR will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats."
The Balasore district administration, after consulting the defence officials, had made arrangements to temporarily shift around 3,652 civilians residing within 2.5 km radius of the launch area during the time of the trial as a precautionary measure, Zee News reported. Additionally, fishermen along the Bay of Bengal in coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada were warned not to venture out in the sea during the time of the test launch.
On December 30 last year, the Indian Navy had successfully test-fired the 70-km surface-to-air missile Barack 8 from INS Kolkata. The Navy had described the test-firing as a significant "milestone," which would enhance the navy's anti-air warfare capacity, PTI had earlier reported.
The surface-to-air missiles have striking ranges of 50-70 km. These missiles will reportedly be inducted into the three Armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) after the trials are completed.