India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started developing a new 200-km range tactical ballistic missile (TBM), called Pranash, according to local reports.
“The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started working on the development of the 200-km strike range Pranash ballistic missile which would be armed with conventional warheads,” unnamed defence officials were quoted as saying in multiple reports.
The new single-stage solid-propellant missile is an advanced version of the Prahar tactical ballistic missile with an operational strike range of around 150 km.
The configuration of the new surface-to-surface missile (SSM) has been reportedly frozen by DRDO with the developmental trials to begin from 2021. Following the trials, to be conducted for the next couple of years, the missile is expected to operationalized by both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army.
Reports added that the missile could also be offered for exports to friendly foreign countries as its strike range is within the permissible limits of international regimes on missile sales, such as Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) of which India is a member. MTCR places export restrictions on missiles with ranges of more than 300km.
Prahaar (“Strike”) is an Indian solid-fuel road-mobile tactical ballistic missile developed by the DRDO. Prahaar is expected to replace the Prithvi-I short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) in Indian service.
This solid-fueled missile can be launched within 2–3 minutes without any preparation, providing significantly better reaction time than liquid-fueled Prithvi ballistic missiles. It will act as a gap filler in the 150 km (93 mi) range, between the Pinaka Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) and Smerch MBRL in one end and the Prithvi series ballistic missiles on the other.
A single truck-based mobile launch platform can carry six Prahaar missiles. The operational range of the missile, which can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, is 150 km.
At the ADEX 2013 exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, DRDO unveiled an export variant of the Prahaar missile, called Pragati. This has a higher range of 170 km and shares 95 per cent of Prahaar’s hardware components.