Balasore (Odisha): India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, from a test range at Chandipur near here as part of a user trial by Army.
Defence sources said the state-of-the-art missile, which is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads, was test-fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of Integrated Test Range at about 10.40 hrs. It is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines and uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory.
Describing the trial as "fully successful," ITR Director M V K V Prasad told PTI that the test was conducted by Strategic Force Command. The sophisticated missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by SFC and monitored by scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise, defence sources said.
"The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-opticaltracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha. "The down range teams onboard the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown," the sources said. Prithvi II, which was inducted into the SFC in 2003, is the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP) and is now a proven technology.
Today's launch was part of a regular training exercise of SFC and was monitored by DRDO scientists, the sources said. Such training launches clearly indicate India's operational readiness to meet any eventuality and also establishes the reliability of this deterrent component of India's Strategic arsenal, the sources said. The last user trials of Prithvi-II in 2014 were successfully carried out from the same base on January 7,2014 and March 28, 2014, they added.