India test-fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile

India on Tuesday test-fired its indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile, which is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and has a strike range of 350 km, from a test range at Chandipur near here.

The test was carried out as part of a user trial by the Army. The surface-to-surface missile was test fired from a mobile launcher in salvo mode from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at about 0948 hrs.

"The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed Strategic Force Command (SFC) and monitored by the scientists of DRDO as part of training exercise," the sources said.

"The missile trajectory was tracked by DRDO radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations located along the coast of Odisha," they said.

"The downrange teams onboard the ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal monitored the terminal events and splashdown," they said.

Inducted into India's SFC in 2003, Prithvi II, the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India's prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development

Program) is now a proven technology, said a defence source.

"The launch was part of a regular training exercise of SFC and was monitored by DRDO scientists," the source 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 source said.

Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twine engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with

manoeuvring trajectory.

The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully carried out from the same base on December 3 last.

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