Improved Prithvi-II successfully test fired


India on Wednesday successfully test-fired an improved version of nuclear-capable 'Prithvi-II' ballistic missile with a range of 350 km from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, about 15 km from Balasore, off the Orissa coast.

The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile was test-fired at around 1020 hours from a Tatra transporter erector launcher from the launch complex no. 3 of the test range as part of a user trial by the army, Defence sources said.

Describing the test-fire as a "success", they said the improved version of the ballistic missile was tested by the "Special Missile Regiment" from Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh raised by the Indian Army under the supervision of scientists of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

The entire trajectory of the trial was tracked down by a battery of sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations positioned in different locations for post-launch analysis, they said.

A naval ship had been anchored near the impact point in the Bay of Bengal and a Long-Range Tracking Radar (LRTR) as well as a Multi-Function Tracking Radar (MFTR) had been deployed to track the missile's trajectory.

Eminent scientist and Chief Controller (R&D) missile and strategic system of DRDO, V K Saraswat and army officials were present to witness the trial.

Even as the test-fire was described as part of the user's trial, the sleek surface-to-surface missile has already been inducted into the Indian Army and is being handled by the unit attached to the strategic force command special group, the sources said.

Amidst constant efforts to improve and fine-tune the missile, scientists of the DRDO were supervising the test-firing and all logistic support was provided by the ITR personnel in Balasore.

The 8.56 meter-long and one meter wide twin engine missile has features to deceive any anti ballistic missile and is equipped with "added inertial navigation" system, the sources said.

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