BALASORE /BHUBANESHWAR: In a historic mission, the Indian Armed forces on Monday successfully test fired two nuclear capable Prithvi-II ballistic missiles back-to-back in salvo mode from two mobile launchers at a defence test facility off the Odisha coast.
Mounted on two Mobile Tatra Transporter-erector Launchers (MTL), the indigenously developed surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) were launched from the launching complex-III (LC-III) of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea. The first missile was fired at about 9.37 AM and the second one at 9.38 AM.
A defence official said both the missiles having a strike range of around 350 km fired at two different targets met all mission parameters. “Though earlier we had tested the Prithvi missile in salvo mode, but for the first time it was test-fired one after another in quick succession. It was a copy book success,” he said.
The tests were conducted as part of the operational exercises by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian army. Two naval ships located at the impact points tracked and monitored both the missiles destroying the targets. All the radars and other sensors along the east coast also monitored the missiles trajectory parameters, the official informed.
Defence sources said, it was a test from the limited stock production (LSP) series. “The missiles used for the test were picked up randomly from the production lot and were launched with indigenously developed inertial navigation system.
“The flight paths of the missiles were smooth in accordance with pre-decided coordinates. The missiles covered desired
distance in less than five minutes. Both the missiles covered same distance because all the mission parameters like
elevation, trajectory, azimuth and stage separation were in one coordination,” said the official.
Prithvi, the first missile developed under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), has the capability to carry 500 Kg of warhead. It has a length of nine meters with one metre diameter thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engine and uses Advanced Inertial Guidance System (AIGS) with maneouring trajectory and reaches the targets with accuracy. The missile was inducted in the Armed Forces in 2002.
Prithvi-II missile is one of the proven weapon systems of the country and it dives at the target at an 80 degree angle. The missile's short range variant was first tested in January 1996 and inducted in the Armed forces in 2002.
Specifications of Prithvi-II Missile
Strike range – 350 km
Length – Nine meters
Diameter – One meter
Launch weight – 4.6 tonne
Propellant – Liquid
Warhead – Both conventional and nuclear