15 Apr : India on Wednesday successfully test fired a version of nuclear-capable ‘Prithvi-II’ ballistic missile with a range of 350 kms from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, about 15 km from Balasore off the Orissa coast.
The indigenously developed surface-to-surface ballistic missile was test fired at around 1020 hours from a mobile launcher as part of a user trial by the army, defence sources said on Wednesday.
The entire trajectory of the trial was tracked down by a battery of sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations positioned in different locations for post-launch analysis, they said.
A naval ship had been anchored near the impact point in the Bay of Bengal and a long-range tracking radar (LRTR) as well as a multi-function tracking radar (MFTR) had been deployed to track the missile’s trajectory.
The sources said the test firing of the short-range ballistic missile was a user trial by the army.The surface-to-surface missile has already been inducted into the army and is "handled by the army unit attached to the strategic force command special group", the sources said.
However, scientists of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) were supervising the test-firing and all logistic support was being provided by the ITR personnel.
The 8.56 meter long and one meter wide twin engine sleek missile has features to deceive any anti-ballistic missile and is equipped with "added inertial navigation" system, the sources said.
The missile, designed to operate with both liquid as well as solid fuel, can carry conventional or nuclear pay loads of 500 kg.
The user trial of "Prithvi-II" was last carried out on 23rd May 2008 from the ITR, Chandipur.