Scientists describe it as a "user trial"

Missile fired at 1.40 p.m.Trail to fine-tune missile delivery systemPrithvi has a strike range of 150 km or more

Balasore: Scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), have described the test-firing of Prithvi missile on Sunday, as "user trial."

Mounted on a mobile launcher, the missile was fired at 1.40 p.m., DRDO sources said.

"The user trial was conducted to further fine-tune the missile delivery system," a source said.

Sunday's trial of Prithvi was tracked by a sophisticated optical tracking telescope, different telemetry stations and a naval vessel positioned in the Bay of Bengal close to the point of impact.

Considered a world-class medium range missile, Prithvi has a strike range of 150 km or more and has been inducted into the armed forces. The Army had raised two specially trained missile groups, 333 and 355, to handle it.

The 8.56-metre long missile is part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. The other four missiles developed under this programme are Agni, Akash, Trishul and Nag.

Prithvi, which has a launch weight of 4.6 tonnes, can carry a one-tonne conventional or nuclear payload, sources said.

The missile, the latest onboard computers and an advanced inertial navigation system, can use both solid and liquid propellants. The Army variant of the missile can cover 150 km in 300 seconds.

The first trial of Prithvi before its induction into the Army, was conducted at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on February 22, 1988.