Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor missile being launched by DRDO in A-SAT missile test, Odisha | PTI
A file photo of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor missile being launched by DRDO in A-SAT missile test in Odisha last year | PTI
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New Delhi: India’s indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme is complete, and the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are now working on a proposal to seek the government’s nod to install the missile shield for the national capital, ThePrint has learnt.

The BMD, along with the Russian S-400 Triumf air defence system, aims to secure the country from all kinds of incoming missiles, including nuclear, and flying objects.

“The BMD programme has been completed. All tests carried so far have been successful, including the radars and missiles. The IAF, which is responsible for the country’s air defence, and the DRDO, which has developed the system, will now move a joint proposal for the government’s clearance,” a top government official told ThePrint.

The official, however, didn’t reveal much about other details of the programme.

The successful test of the anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile last March was a big boost to the BMD programme. India’s leap in space with the A-SAT test is especially significant because inter-continental ballistic missiles like China’s Dongfeng series travel through space before re-entering Earth’s atmosphere to hit the target.

Also read: A-SAT success revs up India’s ballistic missile defence programme

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‘BMD is for Delhi’

Asked whether the Ministry of Defence would be the nodal authority for approving the installation of the missile shield, a government source said the matter comes directly under the Prime Minister’s Office.

Once the permission is granted, the source added, it will take three to four years to put the shield in place because production of the required systems would take time.

Asked if the shield is not meant for Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, the top government official quoted above said, “BMD is for Delhi. It is up to the government to decide which other cities will get it.”

The official added that the BMD programme was envisaged for the national capital only.

What this BMD programme is all about

India’s BMD programme was launched in 1999 after Pakistan’s maiden nuclear test in 1998 and China’s leaps in this sphere.

The BMD works on two levels — endo-atmospheric (within Earth’s atmosphere) and exo-atmospheric (the space stretching beyond Earth’s atmosphere).

While phase one deals with destroying incoming missiles at endo-atmospheric level, phase two works on the same at exo-atmospheric level.

India’s BMD arsenal consists of a Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile to intercept incoming missiles at a range of about 80 km in altitude and an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile for altitudes of 15-25 km.

Pakistan had last year claimed that it has the capabilities to counter the BMD. 

Asked about this, another government source said the BMD is a state-of-the-art defence system with very unique features.

Also read: India completes phase one of ballistic missile defence programme, nod for missiles awaited


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8 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Make sure not to kill your own helis or missiles.

    Anyways, it’s going to be neutralized by MIRV capable Ababeel missile from Pakistan or a swarm of smaller missiles.

  2. I am glad this system has been developed. Hope they put measures in place to avoid Friendly Fire incidents like the one we saw in J&K where IAF downed its own chopper.

  3. If the BMD is such a good and well tested system, and is ready to deploy, why is the Govt ordering the S 400 Triumph system from Russia ? WHy the huge waste of resources and duplication ?

    IF S 400 and BMD have different functions, it is time the MOD came out with more info and clarifications.

    • BMD is made for ICBM(Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles which are bigger in size multi targeting has higher speed. But still its not 100per accurate because its very difficult for any country to stop ICBM’s attack.

      S-400 is for short range missile approx 300kmph range missiles small size single target. Have more accuracy than BMD but it’s not built for ICBM’s


      • BMD, Ballistic Missile Defence, doesn’t have an ICBM. It “consists of a Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile to intercept incoming missiles at a range of about 80 km in altitude and an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile for altitudes of 15-25 km.”, as the author says. Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile is not an ICBM.

        In fact, there would be objections, especially from the US, to India developing an ICBM, which could carry a nuclear warhead to the US! It wouldn’t like any country, outside the P5, to have a nuclear capability to harm it. This is the reason why it doesn’t like North Korea to have this kind of nuclear capability. India’s missiles could reach Pakistan and some areas of China, but not the US!

  4. In this otherwise informative article, what is the relevance of the sentence- “Pakistan had last year claimed that it has the capabilities to counter the BMD. “! BMD is our protection shield against any incoming missile, whether from Pakistan or China or any one else.


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