Prithvi-II nuclear-capable missile

The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has conducted another user trial of the indigenously developed Prithvi-II nuclear-capable missile from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the Odisha coast.

Launched from a road mobile launcher in salvo mode from ITR’s launch complex III, the missile carried a 500kg dummy payload and splashed into the Bay of Bengal less than 20m from the designated target after seven minutes of flight, The Hindu reported.

It was monitored by scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

An undisclosed DRDO source was quoted by The Times of India as saying: "The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock.

"The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located at Wheeler Island and along [the] coast of Odisha."

ITR director M V K V Prasad said the launch of the surface-to-surface missile was a ‘success’.

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Developed by DRDO under the integrated guided-missile development (IGMD) programme, the Prithvi-II is a tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile designed to accurately intercept targets located at a distance of 350km.

"The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock."

Using an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory, the 9m-long single-stage liquid-propelled missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads ranging from 500kg to 1,000kg payloads, and also features measures to deceive anti-ballistic missiles.

It was originally developed for the Indian Air Force and entered operational service with the SFC in 2003, which has since conducted several tests for user training.

Image: The Indian Army’s Prithvi nuclear-capable missile model in Pune, India. Photo: courtesy of Universalashic.