Bhubaneswar : India Monday successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile from a military base in Odisha, a senior defence official said.
The indigenously-developed ballistic missile with a range of 350 km was fired from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-sea in Balasore district, about 230 km from Bhubaneswar.
The launch was carried out at 9.20 a.m. by a missile unit of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian armed forces, as part of a regular training exercise.
“The missile reached the pre-defined target in the Bay of Bengal with a very high accuracy — of a few metres,” test range director M.V.K.V. Prasad told IANS. “The test was a hundred percent success,” he said.
Prithvi is India’s first indigenously-built ballistic missile. It is one of the five missiles being developed under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.
The battlefield missile, with flight duration of 483 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 km, has the capability to carry a 500-kg warhead.
The missile has features to deceive anti-ballistic missiles and uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring capabilities and reaches its target with a few metres of accuracy.
It has higher lethal effect compared to any equivalent class of missiles in the world. Scientists say the accuracy has already been demonstrated in the past in the development flight trials.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesperson Ravi Kumar Gupta called it “a perfect text-book launch”.
“The missile achieved all its targeting and technical parameters, set out for this launch,” he said.
The missile trajectory was tracked by the DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha.
The downrange teams onboard the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal had monitored the terminal events and splashdown, he added.
A Strategic Forces Command (SFC) spokesman said: “Such successful training launches clearly indicate our operational readiness to meet any eventuality as also establishes, the reliability of this deterrent component of India’s strategic arsenal.”
Army officials and scientists of the premier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) witnessed the latest test.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has congratulated the Prithvi-II team for the success.