India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile on Thursday, which has a strike range of 350 km, as part of a user trial by the army. The missile test was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here at 1210 hrs.
“The trial data of the missile conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) shows positive results,” said a defence source. The surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
“The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed SFC and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise,” a defence scientist said. “The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha,” the source said.
The downrange teams on board a ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown, they said. Inducted into India’s armed forces in 2003, Prithvi II, the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program) is now a proven technology.
Such training launches clearly indicate India’s operational readiness to meet any eventuality and also establishes the reliability of this deterrent component of the country’s strategic arsenal, they said. The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully conducted on February 19, 2015 from the same test range in Odisha.