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What is an Interceptor missile and how it is useful

Mar 2, 2017 14:49 IST

The Interceptor missile is an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) which is a surface-to-air missile designed to counter ballistic missiles like intermediate range and intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from any country.

 Interceptor Missile
The BMD consists of two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi Defence Vehicle for exo-atmospheric ranges and the Advanced Area Defence missile for endo-atmosphere or lower altitudes.
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How Interceptor Missile works?

Interceptor

Source: www.livemint.com

In three ways an interceptor missile works: a “hit-to-kill” device i.e. at an incredibly high speed, an interceptor runs into the incoming projectile, it contains a device that is warhead with a directed fragmentation explosive and combination of both as mentioned. For example the AEGIS BMD is a pure “hit-to-kill” an Israeli Arrow missile which uses an explosive warhead while the modern Patriot missiles use a “hit-to-kill” vehicle with a small explosive warhead to amplify the damage.

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How an Interceptor missile is useful?

 Interceptor missile launched
Source: www.livemint.com
These two interceptor missiles, the Prithvi air defence missile and the Advanced Air defence (Ashwin) missile are designed to provide a high-low cover against incoming ballistic missiles. Prithvi air defence missile is capable of intercepting missiles at exo-atmospheric altitudes of 50-80km while Advanced Air defence operates at endo-atmospheric altitude of up to 30kms. It is also used to deliver nuclear, chemical, biological or conventional warheads in a ballistic flight trajectory. The Galosh interceptor having nuclear warheads is used by the Russian A-35 antiballistic missile system. Even LIM-49A Spartan and sprint missiles are utilised by the United States safeguard system.

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