The country’s first nuclear weapons-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Prithvi-II, was successfully test-fired for its full strike range of 350 km from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, off Odisha coast, on Monday.
A missile unit of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) launched the indigenously developed missile at 9.15 a.m. from Launch Complex-III, as part of regular training exercise. Inducted into the SFC in 2003, Prithvi-II, the first missile to be developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), is now a proven technology, a DRDO release said.
Carrying a dummy payload, the missile hit the designated target “with a single digit” accuracy in the Bay of Bengal after a flight of about eight minutes, said Adalat Ali, programme director, Air Defence, DRDO.
Equipped with advanced high-accuracy navigation and manoeuvring system, the missile achieved all its targeting and technical parameters set out for this launch. It was a perfect textbook launch, the release said.
Radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations, located along the Odisha coast tracked the trajectory of the missile, while teams onboard a downrange ship and deployed near the target point monitored the terminal event and the splashdown. The nine-metre tall Prithvi-II is a single-stage liquid fuelled missile capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg. N. Siva Subramanyam, Project Director, Mr. Ali and others were present.