‘Prahaar' (to strike), a totally new quick-reaction, short-range tactical missile, which will fill the gap for such a battlefield weapon system in India's missile arsenal, is all set to be flight-tested on July 17.

This was stated here on Saturday by Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister and Director General, Defence Research and Development Organisation, V.K. Saraswat after inaugurating a new facility of Analogic Controls India Ltd. (ACIL) that manufactures electronic systems for mission critical defence and space applications.

Talking to journalists, Dr. Saraswat said the 150 km-range missile would replace unguided rockets and “is going to be an excellent weapon.” It would bridge the gap between Pinaka, a 40-km range multi-barrel rocket system, and the 350-km Prithvi-II, which had been converted into a strategic missile. Unguided rockets of 90-km range had also been imported from Russia.

Dr. Saraswat said that at present the services did not have a weapon such as Prahaar. The missile would be equipped with omni-directional warheads and could be used for hitting both tactical and strategic targets. The road-mobile system could be pulled out for quick deployment with each launcher carrying six missiles. “With different types of warheads, you can have different types of missiles from the same launcher,” he added.

Stating that the DRDO-developed missile was cost-effective, Dr. Saraswat said that only a few would be required to cause devastation equivalent to that produced by several unguided rockets. Initially, the missile would be given to the Army and later to other services.

Replying to a question, he said India's longest range, surface-to-surface Agni-V missile would be flight-tested by the year-end as scheduled earlier.

Avinash Chander, Chief Controller, (Missile & Strategic Systems), DRDO, said the most “critical milestone' — the testing of three propulsion motors for the first, second and third stages of the missile — was completed.

Electronic systems

Earlier, inaugurating the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility of ACIL, Dr. Saraswat called for forging public-private partnerships for producing electronic systems, which were being imported. The new Electronics Development Policy would aim to bridge the technological gap and seek large participation of the private sector.

He said a low cost laptop being produced by the DRDO in partnership with IIT, Jodhpur, was expected to be unveiled by December.

T.V. Prasad, Chairman, ACIL, said the company was developing more than 50 components for various projects and intended to move towards high-end products.

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