India successfully test-fired a ballistic missile interceptor capable of destroying enemy targets at low altitudes - Representational photo Reuters

India successfully test-fired an indigenously-built supersonic missile interceptor on Wednesday (1 March). The interceptor capable of shooting down ballistic missiles at low altitude was tested for the second time in less than a month.

According to the Press Trust of India, the test is part of India's efforts to develop a multi-layer missile defence system in the country.

The test was conducted at the Chandipur Integrated Test Range in the eastern state of Odisha, where the supersonic interceptor was launched against a Prithvi missile - a tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile-that took up the trajectory of a hostile missile.

"It was a direct hit," a scientist at the national Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), said of the test.

The official added that the interceptor was a 7.5-metre long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile possessing a built-in navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.

The interceptor missile had its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars, the official said.

"Today's test launch was conducted in order to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode," a defence official was quoted as saying. He added that it was a low-altitude trial.

Earlier on 11 February, an exo-atmospheric missile interceptor was tested against an incoming hostile ballistic missile target at a high altitude - 50km above the earth's atmosphere - off the Odisha coast.