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Shourya test-fired successfully

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PERFECT OPERATION: Surface-to-surface missile ‘Shourya’ roars into the sky from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Orissa, on Wednesday.
PERFECT OPERATION: Surface-to-surface missile ‘Shourya’ roars into the sky from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Orissa, on Wednesday.

T.S. Subramanian

It can carry nuclear and conventional warheads

CHENNAI: India on Wednesday successfully test-fired a new surface-to-surface missile called “Shourya” from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Balasore in Orissa.

The two-stage missile took off from a silo at 11.25 a.m. and reached its targeted site 600 km away in the Bay of Bengal. Shourya can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads.

It is the land version of the underwater-launched missile called K-15 (Sagarika), which was fired in February 2008 from an underwater pontoon.

Shourya is a product of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and its Programme Director is A.K. Chakrabarti. M. Natarajan, Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, was at Balasore to watch the launch.

‘Significant milestone’

W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller (R and D), DRDO, said, “Today’s flight-test of Shourya is a significant milestone in building capability for the nation in the field of missiles both for strategic and tactical applications.” Just as the K-15 (Sagarika) missile could rise from the water and knife into the air, Shourya could lift off from a silo on the ground and pierce the sky. “Since the missile is fired from underground, it cannot be detected by conventional satellite imaging,” Dr. Selvamurthy said.

‘Totally new missile’

As Shourya was canisterised it was easy to transport, maintain and operate. Both its stages were powered by solid propellants. The Chief Controller called Shourya “a totally new missile.”

While the K-15 missile has an underwater booster and an air booster, Shourya has a booster underground and an air booster.

Shourya could get through the air defence of an adversary country because it was highly manoeuvrable, Dr. Selvamurthy said.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony has congratulated the DRDO on the successful test-firing of the Shourya.

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