In a big success for the country's indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme, India successfully test-fired and intercepted an incoming 'enemy' missile at an altitude of 40 km using an air defence missile, off the coast of Odisha in Balasore, on Thursday.

The test was successful, with the interceptor missile hitting the target missile with a range of more than 1,000 km. The missile shield is moving closer to realisation and deployment, senior government sources said. 

This was the fifth test of the state-of-the-art interceptor missile. The first four test firings took place on March 1, 2017, February 11, 2017, December 28, 2017, and July 14, 2018 respectively.

India is building a two-layered BMD shield, which will be capable of shooting down enemy missiles at a height of 20 to 40 km after they re-enter the atmosphere.

Only the US, Russia and Israel have been able to develop and deploy an indigenous BMD shield. 

After receiving signals by tracking radars, the interceptor Advanced Air Defence (AAD) missile that was stationed at Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal, destroyed the enemy target missile in mid-air.

According to sources, the interceptor is equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer, its own mobile launcher, an electro-mechanical activator, secure data link for interception, homing capabilities, independent tracking and sophisticated radars.