The nuclear-capable, medium-range ballistic missile, Prithvi-II was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the Orissa Coast on Friday.
The missile which was fired from a mobile launcher at 6.50 a.m. zeroed in on to the pre-designated target with a high degree accuracy as it splashed down into the sea. Although, the indigenously-built system is capable of hitting targets at a range of 350 km, it was tested for a lesser distance, an official from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told The Hindu from the launch site.
After a flight of about six minutes, the missile impacted within a few metres of the target, the official said. All the radars, electro-optical and telemetry instruments tracked the trajectory of the vehicle and monitored all parameters till it splashed down. Two naval ships located down range also witnessed and tracked the terminal event. The launch was carried out by personnel of the Strategic Forces Command as part of regular training exercise, the official added.
The surface-to-surface Prithvi-II had already been inducted into the Air Force. The nine-metre tall missile is a single stage, liquid-propelled system. It weighs 4.6 tonnes and is capable of carrying a 1,000 kg warhead upto a distance of 350 km.
Senior officials from Strategic Forces Command and DRDO, including Avinash Chander, Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory, S.K. Chaudhuri, Associate Director, Research Centre Imarat, P.L.N.Rao, Programme Director ( Air Defence) and Project Director, Prithvi and AD, D.S. Reddy witnessed the event.