Missile launch centre to come up in coastal Andhra
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to set up a missile launch site in the coastal town of Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs.1,000 crore.
DRDO chief V.K. Saraswat, who is also the scientific advisor to the defence minister, told reporters here Friday that they had asked the state government to allot 260 acres of land to set up the long-range missile testing centre.
"As soon as the government clearance comes for land, we will start creating infrastructure. It will take three years to set up the centre," he said.
The DRDO currently has launch facilities at the Chandipur-on-Sea and Wheeler Island at Balasore in Odisha and they are used to test fire the long-range Agni series, Prithvi and other shorter range missiles.
Saraswat said the proposed facility at Machilipatnam would complement the test range in Balasore.
It would be used for launching long-range missiles and also in carrying out tests for the Ballistic Missile Defence Shield wherein multiple missiles need to be launched for trials.
As the proposed site in Rajhamundry falls under the Krishna-Godavari basin, the ministry of petroleum had raised energy and security issues in view of oil and gas exploration activity in the area.
The scientific advisor, however, said the DRDO had resolved issues with the petroleum ministry. "We have amicably sorted out the issue with them," he said.