BHUBANESWAR: Days after India cleared the hurdles for its entry into the elite Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to go for a crucial test of surface-to-surface highly maneuverable tactical ballistic missile Prahaar.
Since Prahaar's export variant 'Pragati' is being readied for interested nations, a successful test would definitely pave the way for its early production. 'Pragati' was first displayed at a defence exhibition in South Korea in 2014 where many friendly foreign countries had shown interest to purchase it. The entry into MTCR would facilitate the process.
Defence sources said preparations are on in full swing at Chandipur-based defence test facility off the Odisha coast for the test next week. In fact, two rounds of test of the missile have been planned in two days.
"While the first one has been scheduled for June 14, the second one will be on June 16. The test window, however, is from June 14-17. If everything goes as per planned and weather favours, the missile will be test fired as per the schedule," said a defence official.
Prahaar, which can be comparable with ATACMS missile of the US, is a counter to Pakistan's 'Nasr'. Developed by DRDO with the support of Missile System and Quality Assurance Agency (MSQAA), the missile is small, lean and slim to achieve better and high maneuvering mid-air.
Its sophisticated inertial navigation and electro-mechanical actuation system give it an edge over other weapons in its class available elsewhere. It is developed to provide Indian Army a cost-effective, all-weather and all-terrain battle field support system.
The missile can be transported to anywhere within a short span of time and the canister-based launcher can be fitted with six missiles at once having different kind of warheads meant for different targets. It can be fired in salvo mode in all directions covering the entire azimuth plane.
It has short cycle time of reloading and making the missile ready for launch. In a gap of less than five seconds, the missile can be fired from same launcher in ripple firing mode. It has the capability of deployment in both stand-alone and canisterised mode. The missile's maiden test was conducted in July 21, 2011 and since than it was kept under wraps for obvious reasons.