BHUBANESWAR: Continuing its user training exercise, the Indian armed forces on Friday successfully test fired nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Dhanush in full operational configuration from a naval warship positioned in the Bay of Bengal.
The trial was conducted at about 10.52 am by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Navy from an undisclosed location nearly 45 km from the Paradip coast.
This was the third test of a Prithvi variant of missile this month and second in the last three days. On Wednesday, the SFC of Indian Army had successfully conducted first night trial of Prithvi-II ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast.
The test was aimed at checking the performance of manoeuvring stealth warheads besides gauging the efficiency and killing probability of the missile in a real-time situation. The missile achieved close to zero circular error probability (CEP) accuracy.
A defence official said the mission Dhanush was excellent as it met all the parameters as expected. “The missile was test fired from a naval warship while another warship provided all logistic supports for the test. It was a textbook launch and fantastic mission accomplished,” he said.
Dhanush, the indigenously developed naval version of the ‘Prithvi’ short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) has a striking range up to 350 km and can neutralise both land-based and sea-based targets. It can carry a single warhead, conventional or nuclear up to 500 kg.
The entire flight path of the missile was smooth in accordance with pre-decided coordinates. The mission parameters like elevation, trajectory, azimuth, flight path and stage separation were rightly validated.
Developed by the DRDO under its ambitious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), the missile is about 8.53 metres in length and 0.9 metre in diameter besides its launch weight about 4.4 tonnes. This single stage missile uses liquid propellant and can be used as an anti-ship weapon as well as for destroying land targets depending on the range.
The missile maintained its intended trajectory before plunging down the sea. The test launch was tracked from its take-off to impact point through an integrated network of sophisticated radars and electro-optic instruments for data analysis. The entire mission sequencing events occurred as expected.
Dhanush is under production after it successfully completed several developmental and user trials. It has already been inducted into the Armed Forces. Prior to the test, a Notam was issued to aviators and mariners to keep away from the area of splashdown.