Prithvi-II successfully test fired

India's nuclear-capable Prithvi-II ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km was on Saturday successfully test fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) near here as part of user trial by the army.

"The flight test of the surface-to-surface missile was conducted around 1100 hrs from a mobile launcher from ITR's launch complex-III at Chandipur," defence sources said. Describing the trial of the indigenously developed strategic missile as "fully successful," ITR director MVKV Prasad said, "It was a perfect launch. All the mission objectives were accomplished during the trial."

Prithvi is the first ballistic missile developed under the country's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme and has the capability to carry 500 kg of both nuclear and conventional warheads with a strike range of 350 km.

The missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory. The test fire of the sophisticated short-range ballistic missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces, was a user's trial by the army and monitored by scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The sleek missile is handled by the strategic force command (SFC), they said, adding the trial was conducted to gauge the effectiveness of the weapon in a real time situation.

"The whole exercise was aimed at studying the control and guidance system of the missile besides providing training to the Army, which happens to be the user," said an official. The state-of-the-art missile is nine metre-long and is one metre in diameter with liquid propulsion twin engine. A defence scientist associated with the trial said radars and electro optical systems located along the coast tracked and monitored all the parameters of the missile throughout the flight path. A twin user trial of Prithvi-II missiles planned on December 21, 2011, from ITR had to be deferred due to a technical snag, sources said.

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