India on Wednesday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed and nuclear-capable Prithvi-II ballistic missile, which has a striking range of 350 km, from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Orissa coast. “The missile mounted on a mobile launcher was test-fired from the launch complex-3 in the ITR at around 0815 hours”, defence sources said.
The test-firing of the missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, was successful, the sources said, adding it was a routine trial conducted by the personnel of strategic force command (SFC). “The entire trajectory of today’s trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, electro-optic telemetry stations and ships launched in the down range impact point area in the Bay for the post-launch analyses,” the sources said. During the last user trial from the same launch complex on September 24, 2010, the missile, had failed to perform due to some technical problems. “Prithvi-II missile had proved its robustness and accuracy repeatedly during many trials earlier,” a Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) official said. With a maximum striking range of 350 km, Prithvi-II is capable of carrying a pay-load of 500-1000 kg warhead. “Taken from routine production lot during earlier user trials by Indian Army, the missile had achieved single digit accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability (CEP),” the sources said. The missile, which has the features to deceive any anti-ballistic missile, had demonstrated flight duration of 483 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 kms during user’s trial in 2008. Similarly, as part of operational exercises by the Armed forces, two numbers of Prithvi-11 missiles, aimed at two different targets at 350 km from launch point of ITR, at Chandipur were successfully launched within minutes of each other on 12 October, 2009 and all the mission objectives were met, the sources said. Prithvi, the first ballistic missile developed under the country’s prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), is propelled by liquid propulsion twin engine. With a length of nine meter and one meter diameter, Prithvi-II uses an advanced inertial navigation system with manoeuvring trajectory. The sleek surface-to-surface missile had proved its accuracy when the user tried it in a ‘salvo mode’ on March 27 and June 18, 2010 from ITR, Chandipur. It was the fourth successful Prithvi-II flight within a period of eight months.