Indian Navy on Saturday created another milestone in its on-going strategic programme with the successful flight testing of nuke-capable surface-to surface ballistic missile 'Dhanush' from a naval warship off the Odisha coast.
The trial termed as 'training exercise' was conducted at about 11.10 AM from an undisclosed location in the Bay of Bengal in between Paradeep and Gopalpur. The test was carried out by the Navy personnel while the DRDO provided all logistic supports to track its flight path.
Defence sources said the ship-launched Dhanush missile was test fired during its final operational configuration from a warship anchored somewhere about 45 km offshore Puri. Another warship provided all essential supports for the test. It was the 10th test of the anti-ship missile.
Speaking to 'The New Indian Express' Director of Integrated Test Range (ITR) MVKV Prasad said the mission was fantastic. "It was a user trial and has met all the mission objectives. All the events occurred as expected and were monitored by the range sensors. It test was 100 percent successful," he said.
'Dhanush', the indigenously developed naval version of the 'Prithvi' ballistic missile has a striking range upto 350 km and can carry 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. All the mission sequencing events occurred as expected.
Dhanush is under production after its successful completion of developmental trials and it has already been inducted into the Armed Forces. The ministry of defence had made elaborate preparations for the test. A cautionary notice was issued to aviators and mariners to keep away from the area of splashdown in the sea.