India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the army from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at around 0940 hrs, defence sources said.
Sources said there was plan for two trials of Prithvi-2 in quick succession. However, after the successful trial of the first one, the second trial was abandoned due to technical problem, they said. A similar twin trial was conducted on October 12, 2009 from the same base where both were successful.
With a strike range of 350 km, the Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with maneuvering trajectory to hit its target.
The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed strategic force command (SFC)and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise, a defence scientist said.
“The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha,” sources said. The downrange teams on board the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown, they said.
Inducted into Indian armed forces in 2003, the nine-metre-tall, single-stage liquid-fueled Prithvi II is the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program) and is now a proven technology, defence 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, they said. The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully conducted on February 16, 2016 from the same test range in Odisha.