Business & Defence

What is India’s Ballistic Missile Defense Program: How Can it Protect Our Airfield?

A ballistic missile is a missile with a high, arching trajectory that is driven and steered at first, but then falls to its target due to gravity. The goal of BMD is to defend rather than attack. The first phase of BMD was successfully tested and completed. BMD decreases the incentive for an adversary to launch a nuclear assault.

New Delhi: A ballistic missile is a missile with a high, arching trajectory that is driven and steered at first, but then falls to its target due to gravity. These are only supervised for a short amount of time. Intercontinental ballistic missiles are launched on a sub-orbital trajectory, while short-range ballistic missiles remain within the Earth’s atmosphere. In the early 1990s, India faced a significant threat of ballistic missile attacks from its neighbours.

What Is the BMD System (Ballistic Missile Defense)?

It is a ballistic missile defence system that serves as a deterrent to attacks by ballistic missiles.

The goal is to defend rather than attack.

There are two stages to the process:

Phase 1: It has been successfully tested and completed, but final official approval is required before it can be deployed.

Phase 2: It is still in the works.

A BMD is a two-tiered automated system that has the following features:

An advanced radar system, an early warning system, and an integrated command and control centre are all part of the package.

Batteries of interceptor missiles must be agile, mobile, and strategically deployed on land and sea.

The BMD in India is primarily developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with the assistance of a number of public and private companies.

There Are Probably Five Different BMD Program Configurations:

A system of land and sea-based defence against all threats.

BMD is used to protect vital population centres, control and command centres, critical infrastructure centres (including nuclear facilities), and major economic zones in the second configuration.

The command and control centre, nuclear forces, and vital civilian population centres are all protected.

In the fourth configuration, it will safeguard command and control centres, nuclear forces, and the capital.

BMD deployment will be limited to the command and control centre and the capital in the final configuration. Its sole goal is total defence, and it is unable to provide counter-attack capability due to the absence of nuclear forces.

Why does India require BMD?

India has a policy of “no first use.” If an enemy state launches a nuclear projectile, a strong BMD gives the nation the ability to strike back.

In India’s north, there are hostile nuclear-armed states. It is only practical for the country to prepare ahead of time.  The enemy’s incentive to undertake a nuclear assault is reduced by BMD.

An indigenous system would lower the cost of importing defence systems from other countries.

Other industries can benefit from the technology created for BMD.


Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) is an anti-ballistic missile that is designed to intercept incoming ballistic missiles outside of the atmosphere (Exo-Atmospheric). PAD is a two-stage missile based on the Prithvi missile with a maximum intercept altitude of 80 kilometres. A solid-fuelled motor is used in the first stage, and a liquid-fuelled motor is used in the second.

Advanced Air Defence (AAD) is an anti-ballistic missile that can intercept incoming ballistic missiles in the endosphere at a height of 40 kilometres. AAD is a solid-fuel missile with siliconized carbon jet vanes that has only one stage. PAD with indigenous radio frequency seeker provides guidance similar to that of PAD.

The DRDO is working on a new Prithvi interceptor missile designated PDV. The missile will be two-staged, with solid propellants powering both stages.

The Prithvi Defence Vehicle Mark 2 is a three-stage missile with a height of 13 metres and a weight of 18.87 tonnes. The first two stages were solid rocket motors with flexible nozzles, with the third stage being the Kill Vehicle.

The Swordfish RADAR is the BMD system’s target acquisition and fire control radar.

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