Indian Army test fires yet another short range Ballistic Missile "Prithvi-II
BHUBANESWAR: Indian army on Wednesday flight tested short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi-II reconfirming its readiness to launch the weapon system in a short notice. Capable of hitting targets 350 km away, the missile has already been inducted in the armed forces.
Defence sources said mounted on a Mobile Tatra transporter-erector Launcher (MTL), the indigenously built sophisticated missile Prithvi-II was fired from the launching complex - III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast at about 11.35 am.
The test was conducted as part of user training exercise by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the army with logistic support from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The missile used for the test was picked up randomly from the assembly line.
"The mission met all mission objectives successfully. Carrying a dummy payload the missile covered the desired striking range before plunging into the sea at a predetermined splash-down point. The entire flight path of the missile was smooth in accordance with pre-decided coordinates. It travelled around 300 km in six minutes," informed the sources.
India has conducted tests of its three different weapon systems in three weeks. The user trial of Prithvi-II came after the successful launch of nuke-capable 700-km range Agni-I missile on Tuesday and first pre-induction trial of inter-continental range ballistic missile Agni-V from Abdul Kalam Island on January 18.
The nine-metre-long and one-meter thick missile, with a launch weight of 4.6 tonnes, is powered by liquid propellant. It can operate with both liquid as well as solid fuel. The missile has the capability to carry a payload of up to one tonne. The strike range of the sleek missile can be enhanced by reducing the weight of warhead.
Designed and developed by DRDO, the missile has been inducted with the 333-missile regiment of Indian Army. It can be taken close to the forward line over any kind of terrain. It dives at the target at an 80-degree angle and stops climbing when it reaches an altitude of 30 km.
A state-of-the-art inertial guidance system fitted with the missile provides reasonably good accuracy while the radar correlation terminal guidance system makes it more lethal. It can target mobile targets including unmanned aerial vehicles.
Prithvi was first tested in 1988 and inducted into the armed forces in 2002. At present, nearly 30 missiles are manufactured every year for all versions of the Prithvi. It was last test fired in June last year.