The nuclear weapons-capable, surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi-II failed to take off after it was fired from a mobile launcher during a user trial at Chandipur in Orissa on Friday.
The missile, with a range of 350 km, was fired around 10 a.m. by personnel of the Strategic Forces Command as part of a training exercise. But the rocket engine stopped functioning a few seconds after the launch command was given and failed to provide the missile the necessary thrust to blast off.
The likely causes for the malfunctioning of the engine — a problem with the liquid propellant or an absence of free flow of the fuel in the pipelines or a snag during the command — were being looked into, official sources said. The exact reason would be known in two or three days after the entire data was analysed.
The nine-metre, single-stage missile has already been inducted into the Indian Air Force and is capable of carrying payloads of 500-1,000 kg.
Prithvi is the first missile to be developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme and has two variants – Prithvi-II for the Air Force and Dhanush for the Navy. The Prithvi class of missiles have so far been tested more than 50 times.
Keywords: Prithvi-II ballistic missile