India on Monday successfully test-fired its nuclear capable Prithvi-II’ ballistic missile, with a range of 350 kms, as part of user trial by the armed forces from Chandipur off Orissa coast, about 15 km from Balasore.
“The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile was flight tested at around 8.50 AM from a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range launch complex-III,” ITR Director S P Dash said on Monday.
The trial, conducted as part of operational exercise, was “fully successful,” he said.
The test firing of the short-range ballistic missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, was a ‘user trial’, defence sources said.The sleek missile is “handled by the specially raised strategic force command”, they said, adding the missile has a length of 9 metres and is one metre in diameter. It is propelled by two engines than run on liquid fuel.
Prithvi, the first ballistic missile developed under the country’s prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), has the capability of carrying 500 kg of warhead.
The missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory.
A DRDO spokesperson said the missile reached the predefined target in the Bay of Bengal with a very high accuracy of better than 10 meters.
“All the radars, electro optical systems located along the coast have tracked and monitored all the parameters of the missile throughout the flight path and an Indian Navy ship located near the target witnessed the final event,” he said.
The flight test of the missile met all the mission objectives and was like a text book launch, he said.
After the successful trial, DRDO Chief V K Saraswat congratulated the scientists and armed forces personnel involved in Monday’s flight testing.