New Delhi, Jan 18 (Agencies): Vying to enter the big league of nations already into missile defebnce systems, India will testfire an advanced version of its indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence system in February after carrying out major upgrades.

Sych a system will allow it to destroy enemy rockets at a much higher altitude.

As part of its efforts to protect itself from enemy missiles, India is developing a two-tier BMD which can intercept enemy missiles at exo-atmospheric (outside the Earth's atmosphere) altitudes of 80 km and endo-atmospheric (inside the Earth's atmosphere) heights of 30 km.

Under the improved system, the DRDO-developed missile shield will intercept missiles at exo-atmospheric altitudes of 150 km and endo-atmospheric height of 80 km, DRDO sources told
news agencies here.

The system is being upgraded after DRDO felt that a capability to intercept enemy projectiles at higher altitudes would give it more response time in case the first attempt is a miss and the second layer of the system can be put into action, they added.

Sources said with India facing a theatre-based threat and not a global one from an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), such a capability would also give it an advantage in
terms of the area covered by the missile defence system.

The system was first test-fired in November 2006 elevating India into the elite club of four countries to have successfully developed an Anti-ballistic missile system, after United States, Russia and Israel.

Last year, DRDO conducted the fourth in a row successful test of the endo-atmospheric interceptor missile at an altitude of 15 kms. Sources said if the tests prove successful, the DRDO will go ahead with the deployment of the BMD by 2015.