Prithvi-II missile being test fired from ITR off the Odisha coast
BHUBANESWAR: Indian armed forces successfully conducted first night trial of nuclear-capable surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile Prithvi-II from a defence test facility off Odisha coast.
Equipped with state of the art guidance system, the surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur near here around 8.30 pm, as part of a user trial by the Army.
Mounted on a Mobile Tatra transporter-erector Launcher (MTL) the indigenously developed missile was fired in a real-time situation by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian army in full operational configurations.
This was second test of the missile in two weeks and the test came a day after successful trial of 2,000 km range Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-II from Abdul Kalam Island.
The perfect test launch came after successful trial of the Agni-5 missile on January 18, Agni-1 on February 6 and Agni II yesterday from the Abdul Kalam Island off the Odisha coast.
Prithvi II missile was also successfully test fired earlier on February 7 from the ITR at Chandipur.
Prithvi-II, capable of attacking targets at a range of 350 km, is India’s first developed and inducted indigenous surface-to-surface strategic missile. The test proved the reliability of the weapon and reconfirmed its operational readiness which means it can be fired anytime and in any terrain in short notice.
“The night trial is highly significant as all preparations are done in dark so that it can be invisible to enemies. This was first trial of Prithvi-II during night and it has met all mission parameters as coordinated,” said a defence official.
Guided all through by an accurate Inertial Navigation System (INS) and controlled by the thrust vector control and Aero-dynamic control systems, the missile reached the predefined target in the Bay of Bengal with a very high accuracy of better than 10 meters.
The single stage liquid propelled weapon developed by DRDO was inducted into the Armed Forces in 2003 and is into series of production since then. One of the missiles drawn from the inventory was used for the test.
All the radars, Electro-optical systems located along the coast have tracked and monitored all the parameters of the missile throughout the flight path. A naval ship located near the target in the sea witnessed the final event. The downrange teams on-board the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown.
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) of the Army, and monitored by the scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise, the sources said.
The 8.56 meter long missile with a diameter of one metre has the capability to carry one tonne of warhead. The missile is powered by two liquid propulsion engines and uses an inertial guidance system, while the warhead uses a radar correlation terminal guidance system. It can target mobile targets including unmanned aerial vehicles.