A new surface-to-air missile developed jointly by India and Israel is likely to be test-fired on Wednesday, 29 June, from a defence base off Odisha coast in eastern India. An official from the defence base reportedly said on Tuesday (28 June) that final preparations had been made for the launch, which would be conducted the next day if the weather was favourable.

The surface-to-air missile also includes a multi-functional surveillance system and threat alert radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile, sources from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) were quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying. The sources added that Indian defence personnel, DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries will jointly conduct the test-launch.

The missile will be launched from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, which is about 15km from Balasore, a town in Odisha state. The Balasore district administration has made arrangements to move around 3,652 civilians residing within a 2.5km radius of launch pad number 3 of the ITR, officials reportedly said. All these people will be moved temporarily as a precaution.

A district revenue official told the news agency that they have identified seven hamlets that fall within the 2.5km radius of the launch pad and residents have already been alerted about Wednesday's likely test launch. Temporary shelter camps at a safe zone have been erected by the administration for people living in those hamlets.

The administration has also warned fishermen in three coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrakh and Kendrapada in Odisha against venturing into the Bay of Bengal during the test launch.

India is likely to test-fire a new surface-to-air missile, developed jointly with Israel, from a defence base off Odisha coast REUTERS