IN­DIA TEST-FIRES PRITHVI-II NUCLEARCAPABLE MIS­SILE

SP's LandForces - - NEWS IN BRIEF -

The In­dian Army’s Strate­gic Forces Com­mand (SFC) has re­port­edly con­ducted an­other user trial of the Prithvi-II nuclearcapable mis­sile. Dur­ing the trial, the in­dige­nously de­vel­oped sur­face-to-sur­face mis­sile was launched from com­plex-3 of the In­te­grated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, off the Odisha coast. The trial was su­per­vised by sci­en­tists from the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), re­ported the Press Trust of In­dia (PTI). De­vel­oped by DRDO un­der the In­te­grated Guided-Mis­sile De­vel­op­ment (IGMD) pro­gramme, the Prithvi-II has been de­signed to in­ter­cept tar­gets at a dis­tance of 350 km.

Pow­ered by liq­uid-pro­pel­lant twin en­gines, the 9-m-long mis­sile uses an ad­vanced in­er­tial guid­ance sys­tem to carry war­heads rang­ing from 500 kg to 1,000 kg pay­loads. PTI quoted de­fence sources as say­ing: “The mis­sile tra­jec­tory was tracked by DRDO radars, elec­tro-op­ti­cal track­ing sys­tems and teleme­try sta­tions lo­cated along the coast of Odisha.” Ini­tially, two suc­ces­sive tri­als were planned to eval­u­ate PrithviII. How­ever, the plans for the se­cond trial have been scrapped due to tech­ni­cal prob­lems after the first test-fir­ing. In 2003, the Prithvi-II en­tered op­er­a­tional ser­vice with the SFC, which has since con­ducted sev­eral tests for user train­ing. In Fe­bru­ary, a sim­i­lar user trial was con­ducted by the In­dian Army from the same test range in Odisha.

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