Strategic Weapons: Indian ABMs

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December 9, 2007: In the last month, India held two successful tests of an anti-missile missile, using Indian Prithvi ballistic missiles as targets. The Advanced Air Defense (AAD) system uses long-range tracking radars based on Israeli Green Pine radars. The 22 foot long interceptor missile is single stage, and uses solid fuel. It is equipped with an inertial navigation system, but receives most of its flight commands from a ground station, using data from the Green Pine radars. The interceptor can hit targets about 50 kilometers up.

All this sounds very similar to the Israeli Arrow anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, and it is. But Arrow was built with a lot of U.S. technology, that Israel is not allowed to export without permission. So the Indians, with some Israeli help, will have to re-invent a lot of that technology. It will take at least three years, and half a dozen more successful tests, before the Indians have something they can deploy. If such an anti-missile system becomes operational, Pakistan's nuclear arsenal will become a lot less potent.

 


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