The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Army successfully test-fired on Tuesday the surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile from the Integrated Test Range near Balasore, Odisha.
The missile, which can travel 250 km-350 km, can carry a nuclear warhead weighing 350 kg. The SFC of the Services is in charge of the delivery systems, equipped with nuclear warheads.
Informed sources said Prithvi-II was such “a well-established and proven system” that the Tuesday flight amounted to a “routine exercise.” Prithvi-II, a battle-field support missile meant for deep interdiction, has already been inducted into the Army. Its Naval version called Dhanush has been inducted into the Navy.
The SFC will be test-firing the Agni-III missile, with a range of more than 3,000 km, from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast, in the third week of December. Agni-III can carry nuclear warheads weighing one tonne. The Army has already deployed Agni-I, II and III missiles, all of which have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and can carry nuclear warheads.
The DRDO is getting ready for an interceptor missile launch, an Agni-IV flight, and a test-firing of Agni-V from a canister from the Wheeler Island in the coming weeks. Agni-IV has a range of 4,000 km.
The DRDO had successfully test-fired the Agni-V missile with a range of more than 5,000 km in April 2012 and September 2013. Both the flights took place from a rail-mobile launcher on Wheeler Island. A canisterised flight of Agni-V from a truck, if it is proven in successive trials, will give a lot of mobility to the missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead weighing one tonne.