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November 26, 2015

Indian Army test fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II and Agni-I missiles

The Indian Army's Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has successfully test-fired two nuclear-capable missiles.

By Ranjith Dharma

Pruthvi

The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has successfully test-fired two nuclear-capable missiles.

The Prithvi-II missile was tested from an integrated test range (ITR) in Chandipur near the Odisha coast.

Bearing a strike range of 350km, the missile was launched from a mobile launcher of the ITR’s launch complex III.

A source was quoted by the Press Trust of India (PTI) as saying: "The trial data of the missile conducted by SFC shows positive results."

"The surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500kg to 1,000kg of warheads, and is thrusted by liquid-propulsion twine engines."

The test was monitored by scientists from the defence research and development organisation (DRDO).

The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations situated on the coast of Odisha, according to the source.

The Prithvi-II missile was originally developed for the Indian Air Force, and entered operational service with the SFC in 2003.

"The trial data of the missile conducted by SFC shows positive results."

Powered by solid propellants, the surface-to-surface Agni-I missile was test-fired from an ITR mobile launcher at Abdul Kalam Island.

Conducted as part of SFC training exercise, defence sources noted the trial to be a ‘perfect launch’.

Agni-I is designed to bridge the gap between the short-range Prithvi and medium-range Agni-II missiles.

The 15m-long Agni-I missile weighs around 12t, and is capable of carrying a combined conventional and nuclear payload of nearly 1t.


Image: The Prithvi-II missile being launched from Chandipur Range in Odhisa, India. Photo: courtesy of SFC.

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