Plans to test-fire two nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missiles in a salvo mode within 20 minutes of each other were aborted on Wednesday after technical glitches were detected in both the weapon systems during countdown.
The missiles which were picked randomly from the production lot were to be launched from the Interim Test Range at Chandipur in Balasore district of Orissa, by the personnel of the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the armed forces as part of regular user trials. The first Prithvi-II was to be fired at 10 a.m. followed by a second missile in about 20 minutes. However, an hour before the launch the snags were found forcing halt of the process.
According to an official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the problem related to the liquid propellant in both the systems. The rescheduled test-firing might take place after a month, after the problem is fixed. A one-line press release issued by S.P. Dash, director, ITR said the launch was postponed due to technical snag.
The single-stage, liquid propelled missile is nine-metre tall, capable of carrying warheads ranging from 500 kg. to 1,000 kg. to a distance of 350 km.
It has anti-ballistic defence features and is equipped with an advanced inertial navigation system.
It has already been inducted into the Army and the user trials are being conducted periodically, including in salvo mode, by the SFC personnel.
The Prithvi is the first of the indigenously developed missiles under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).