BHUBANESWAR: India on Tuesday conducted another night trial of Air Force version of its indigenously developed short range nuclear capable ballistic missile - Prithvi from a defence test facility off Odisha coast.Mounted on a mobile tatra transporter-erector launcher (MTL), the sophisticated missile was test-launched from launching complex-III (LC-III) of integrated test range (ITR) at about 7.50 pm.
While Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Armed Forces conducted the trial as part of user training exercise, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) provided logistic support for the mission.This was the third consecutive success of Prithvi missile in the last 15 days. On November 20, the SFC had successfully conducted twin tests of Prithvi-II missile back-to-back from the same test range in the night.
Defence sources said the test conducted for a reduced range was successful. “After a perfect lift-off, the missile impacted at the intended target point. All mission objectives have been successfully met. It has achieved single digit accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability (CEP),” said a defence official.
The missile used for the test was picked up randomly from the assembly line after production. The flight path of the missile was smooth in accordance with pre-decided coordinates. The flight path was tracked by a battery of radars and telemetry observation stations.
With a launch weight of 4.6 tonne, the nine-metre long and one metre thick Prithvi-II missile has a strike range of 250 km to 350 km. Powered by liquid propellant, Prithvi can carry a payload of between 500 kg and one tonne, including nuclear weapons. “Three missiles tested in the last fortnight have performed as expected. Another round of test has been planned on Wednesday,” sources said.Prithvi is India’s first indigenously built ballistic missile under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme. Already inducted in Armed Forces, it can be taken close to forward line over any kind of terrain.