India successfully conducted a night test-launch of its indigenously developed Prithvi-II nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) on Sept. 23.
The missile was launched from a mobile launcher from Launch Complex-3 of Chandipur Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Odisha’s Balasore district as part of a user trial by the Indian Armed Forces’ Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
The missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was randomly chosen from the production stock and the launch activity was carried out by the SFC and monitored by the scientists of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). SFC is responsible for the management and administration of India’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile and DRDO is the missile’s developer.
The missile’s trajectory was tracked by DRDO’s radars, electro-optical tracking systems, and telemetry stations deployed along the coast of Odisha. The downrange teams on board a ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal reportedly monitored the terminal events and splashdown.
The previous night-time user trial of the Prithvi-II missile was successfully conducted from the ITR on November 20, 2019.
Prithvi II is a single-stage liquid-fueled tactical surface-to-surface missile (SSM) developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
The missile is powered by twin rocket engines, has a maximum strike range of 350 km and a payload capacity of 500-1000 kg. It is capable of being armed with both conventional and nuclear warheads.
Prithvi-II was inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2003.