India test fires supersonic 'interceptor missile'

India test fires supersonic 'interceptor missile'

According to Indian military research wing, test is part of India's ambition to build own anti-missile defense system

GUWAHATI, INDIA (AA) - India has test-fired a supersonic “interceptor missile”, which is capable of bringing down hostile ballistic missiles, local media reported Monday.

According to the Press Trust of India news agency, which quoted sources at India’s Defense Research Development Organization, India’s military research and development agency, the test was carried out “successfully” Sunday at a test range in eastern Odisha coast.

The Hindu daily said the latest test was an attempt by India to have its own advanced Ballistic Missile Defense system.

The “interceptor” missile comes with its own navigation and tracking systems, mobile launchers and sophisticated radars, the daily added.

Another Indian daily, Times of India, hinted that the missile system has had its shares of ups and downs.

“This was for the eleventh time that the missile was test-fired. It has failed to hit the target thrice. The first test was conducted in 2006 from the ITR [Integrated Test Range]. The last test on Nov. 21, 2015, was successful,” it said.

Last December, India signed a deal with Russia to provide it with the S-400, which is an advanced air defense system.

For decades, arch-rivals Pakistan and India have remained in a fierce arms race, with continuous increases in already-hefty defense budgets and regular missile tests by both sides.

In 2015, India ranked eighth in the world in terms of military expenditures, while Pakistan’s defense budget was some five times smaller.

After the U.S. and China, India has the world’s third largest army, with over 1.3 million active troops. Pakistan, meanwhile, stands eighth on the list at over 600,000.

Since Pakistan was created following the partition of India in 1947, the two rivals have engaged in several disputes over land and sea boundaries.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of which were fought over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

*Anadolu Agency Correspondent Abdul Gani contributed to this report from India.

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