The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has successfully tested its nuclear-capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile from launch complex-III of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Orissa, India.

Monitored by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials, the trial was part of a regular training exercise to validate the missile’s effectiveness in real-time situations.

Launched from a road mobile launcher system, the missile followed the prescribed trajectory and reached the predefined target point in the Bay of Bengal with a very high accuracy of more than 10m, according to defence sources.

During the terminal phase of the test launch, the missile was tracked by the advanced radar and telemetry stations located along the coastline and two Indian Navy’s ships stationed near the target point.

An unidentified army official was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying, "The whole exercise was aimed at studying the control and guidance system of the missile besides providing training to the Army, which happens to be the user."

ITR director MVKV Prasad said, "It was a perfect launch. All the mission objectives were accomplished during the trial."

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Developed indigenously 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 from 500 to 1,000kg payload, and is also capable of deceiving any anti-ballistic missile threat.

Originally developed for use by the Indian Air force (IAF), the missile has also been inducted into operational service with the Indian Army.