India's nuclear-capable Prithvi II missile test-fired

India's nuclear-capable Prithvi II missile test-fired

The warhead can hit target at a distance of 350 km

India's nuclear-capable Prithvi II missile test-fired

The surface to surface short range ballistic missile was test fired twice at 10:28 am and 10:33 am from a mobile launcher at the launch pad number three of the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) run missile testing facility, sources in the ITR said.

The 4.6 tonne missile can carry both conventional as well as nuclear warheads weighing between 500 to 1000 kg and has the ability to hit a target at a distance of 350 km.

Two naval ships located at the targets, tracked and monitored the missiles hitting the targets very accurately. All radars and sensors along the east coast monitored the missile trajectory parameters.

Prithvi was the first missile developed under integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP). The nine-metre long missile can carry 500 kg of warhead and powered by liquid propulsion twin engine. 

It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory and reaches the targets with few metres of accuracy. While the respective ranges of 150 and 250 km Prithvi I and II was meant for the Army and was in service for more than a decade. The Prithvi III with 350 km was developed for the Navy and first test-fired way back in 2000.
 A number of scientists from the DRDO as well as defence officials were present at the ITR when the indigenously built missile was test-fired.

This is, however, not for the first time that a test was conducted on the sophisticated missile. It has been test-fired from the ITR several times before. The last test firing was conducted in April this year. According to ITR sources, Prithvi II was test-fired for the first time in 1996. However, that time its range was only 150 km.

The launch was carried out by the Strategic Force Command and witnessed by Scientific Adviser to Raksha Mantri, VK Saraswat, Lt Gen BS Nagal, commander of the Strategic Force Command and Lt Gen VK Singh, commander of the Eastern Command.