INDIA TEST-FIRES PRITHVI-II NUCLEARCAPABLE MISSILE
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.