BHUBANESWAR: India successfully conducted twin tests of nuclear capable surface-to-surface short range ballistic missile Prithvi-II from a defence test facility off Odisha coast on Wednesday. This is for the first time that a ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear warheads has been flight tested back-to-back during night.
Equipped with state-of-the-art guidance system the missiles were test-fired from separate tatra transporter erector rail mobile launchers at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in a gap of 30 seconds. The first missile was fired at about 7.05 pm.
A defence official said both the missiles guided by inertial navigation system and controlled by the thrust vector and aero-dynamic control systems reached the predefined points of impact in the Bay of Bengal with a very high accuracy of better than 10 metre.
“It was a great mission as all objectives have been met. Firing of missiles back-to-back during night are highly significant as all preparations are done in the dark. Both the missiles have been tracked by a battery of radars and telemetry observation stations,” he informed.
The twin trials conducted as part of user training exercise by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army came nearly four days after successful nigh test of nuke-capable intermediate range ballistic missile Agni-II from Abdul Kalam Island.
With a strike range of 350 km Prithvi-II is India’s first indigenously developed and inducted surface-to-surface strategic missile. The missile is into production after it was inducted in the Armed Forces in 2003.
“The test proved the reliability of the weapon and reconfirmed its operational readiness. The army is now ready to fire the missile anytime and in any terrain in short notice,” the official added.
Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the nine-metre-long missile with a diameter of one metre has the capability to carry warheads up to one tonne. It weighs around 4.6 tonne and has all advanced technologies to track maneuverable targets making it a perfect weapon in its class.
The missile thrusted by liquid propulsion dual motor uses an advanced inertial guidance system that tracks its trajectory to give a precise target hit. The warhead uses a radar correlation terminal guidance system for high accuracy. DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy witnessed the tests.