India test-fires Prithvi-II and Dhanush missiles
Balasore: India today successfully test-fired its indigenously-developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II and Dhanush ballistic missiles in separate trials, boosting the armed forces' operational readiness.
The day began with the test-firing of its Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, from a test range at Chandipur near here at abour 10.40am as part of a user trial by Army.
Nine hours later, Dhanush, also a surface-to-surface missile and a naval variant of ‘Prithvi', was test-fired from a ship in the Bay of Bengal at around 7.40 PM by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the defence force.
Defence sources said the state-of-the-art Prithiv-II missile, which is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads, was test-fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of Integrated Test Range.
Describing the trial as “fully successful,” ITR Director M V K V Prasad told PTI that the test was conducted by Strategic Force Command.
The sophisticated missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by SFC and monitored by scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as part of training exercise, defence sources said.
“The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha.
“The downrange teams onboard the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown,” the sources said.
Prithvi II was inducted into the SFC in 2003. Today's launch was part of a regular training exercise of SFC and was monitored by DRDO scientists, the sources said.
Such training launches clearly indicate India's operational readiness to meet any eventuality and also establishes the reliability of this deterrent component of India's Strategic arsenal, the sources said.
The last user trials of Prithvi-II in 2014 were successfully carried out from the same base on January 7, 2014 and March 28, 2014, they added. Prasad said the launch of Dhanush, part of an exercise by the armed forces and the missile reached the designated target with high precision.
“The missile launch and its flight performance was monitored from the ITR at Chandipur, Odisha,” he said. The single-stage, liquid-propelled Dhanush has already been inducted into the armed services and is one of the five missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), defence sources said.
“The trial was conducted by the SFC of the Indian defence force in co-operation with DRDO,” a defence scientist said.
Dhanush missile is capable of carrying conventional as well as nuclear payload of 500 to 1,000 kg and hit both land and sea-based targets.