The Indian Army’s strategic forces command (SFC) has successfully test fired the indigenous Prithvi II surface-to-surface / nuclear capable missile from launch complex-3 of the integrated test range (ITR) at Chandipur, off the Odisha coast, India.
Randomly picked from the production lot, the missile was launched by a mobile launcher in salvo mode, and zeroed in onto the pre-designated target in the Bay of Bengal with an accuracy of about 20m following the seven minute flight, The Hindu reports, citing the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) sources.
The high-precision navigation system equipped missile was monitored by the radars, electro-optical (EO) tracking systems located along the coast, as well as the telemetry equipment fitted in a downrange ship near the target point during the terminal phase of flight, the sources added.
The test launch was carried out as part of the SFC’s regular training exercise under the supervision of DRDO scientists, to demonstrate the preparedness of the unit to undertake independent launches.
Commenting on the launch, SFC’s commanding officer said: ”Such successful training launches clearly indicate our operational readiness to meet any eventuality as it also establishes the reliability and credibility of this deterrent component of India’s strategic arsenal to meet future security challenges.”
Developed locally by DRDO under the integrated guided missile development (IGMD) programme, the Prithvi-II is a tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM), designed to accurately intercept targets located at a distance of 350km.
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.
Originally developed for use by the Indian Air Force (IAF), the missile entered into operational service with the SFC in 2003.
Image: The Prithvi-II nuclear missile lifts off from Chandipur Range in Odhisa, India. Photo: courtesy of SFC.