India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile Dec. 28, 2017. Twitter

The Indian defense department successfully tested an Advanced Air Defence (AAD) supersonic interceptor missile Thursday, which was developed by the nation’s own Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

The supersonic interceptor, tested at Chandipur, Odisha, was capable of destroying any incoming ballistic missile in low altitude. During the test, AAD missile was able to successfully intercept a ballistic missile flying at an altitude of 18 miles from the Earth’s surface, in the lower atmosphere.

“It was a direct hit and grand success,” anonymous defense sources said after the test launch, Hindustan Times reported. “Today’s test was conducted to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode and it was all success.”

The Indian National Congress, one of the prominent political parties in the country, congratulated the DRDO on their latest success:

According to sources, the interceptor is a 24-foot-long single stage solid rocket. The missile is attached to the guiding equipment including a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator. It also supports advanced technology such as mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.

The target missile, which the AAD missile was able to intercept, was a Prithvi missile (a tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile, also developed by DRDO) that was launched from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur. The interceptor AAD missile was positioned at Abdul Kalam Island, which was previously known as Wheeler Island, in the Bay of Bengal.

Upon detecting signals using tracking radars, the missile launched itself at the incoming ballistic missile and was able to destroy it in mid-air in an endo-atmospheric level (within the height of 62 miles from the Earth’s atmosphere).

The state-of-the-art interceptor missile is the third supersonic interceptor test carried out this year by the Indian military, with the previous tests conducted Feb. 11 and March 1. The tests were part of India’s efforts to build a full-fledged multi-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.

The latest AAD missile test was most recent in the string of successes experienced by the Indian military this year. On Dec. 5, a surface-to-air missile Akash, an indigenous radio frequency seeker, was successfully tested from the same Chandipur testing range.

“The surface to air missile AKASH with indigenous radio frequency seeker against target Banshee [an unnamed aerial vehicle], has been successfully launched from the Launch Complex-III at ITR [Integrated Test Range] Chandipur today at 1338 h[ours],” Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement following the test, the Diplomat reported.

“The radars, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the coast have tracked and monitored all the health parameters of the missile,” the statement added.

Akash — a 19-foot-long missile — is armed with a 132 pound high-explosive, pre-fragmented warhead that can engage aerial targets up to a distance of 18 miles and at altitudes of up to 11 miles.