India test fire Prithvi-II missile

Surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi II lifts off from a road mobile launcher on 25AUG12 at Chandipur in Odisha. (Credit: The Hindu)

According to a press release from the DRDO, India on 04OCT12 successfully test fired its indigenously developed, nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi-II from a test range in Odisha. (Interestingly, no video or photography was released with the test).

The 350-km range missile reportedly blasted off from launch complex No.III at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Chandipur in Balasore district under the supervision of the Strategic Forces Command.

According to the Times of India, a defence scientist associated with the trial said radars and electro-optical systems located along the coast tracked and monitored all the parameters of the missile throughout the flight path. (The reporting coincided with the official press statement)

The Hindustan Times quoted a DRDO official as saying, “The whole exercise was aimed at studying the control and guidance system of the missile besides providing training to the Army.” The army first test-fired Prithvi-II in May 2008 after it was inducted in 2006. The army has reportedly ordered 62 Prithvi-II missiles

Prithvi-II is one of the five missiles being developed under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme started in the early 1980s. (The other four include: Agni, Trishul, Askah, and Nag)

The medium-range missile, with flight duration of 483 seconds and reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 km, has the capability to carry a 500-kg warhead.

Prithvi uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring capabilities and comes within metres of its target.

The last trial was also completed successfully on 25AUG12 when it reached the predefined target in the Bay of Bengal with a high accuracy of better than 10 meters, sources said.

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