India successfully test-fired Dhanush nuclear-capable ballistic missile from a naval ship positioned near Paradip off the Odisha coast in the Bay of Bengal at around 10.52 am on Feb. 23, according to local media reports.
Dhanush is the naval variant of the indigenously-developed Prithvi III tactical/ short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) with a strike range of 350 kms. The missile is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets.
The user trial of the ship-launched surface-to-surface missile was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Armed Forces. “The missile launch was part of training exercise by the SFC of Indian Navy,” an official was quoted as saying.
Describing the test launch as “a complete success”, the officials said all mission objectives were met during the trial. “The missile launch and its flight performance were monitored from DRDO telemetry and radar facilities in the Odisha coast”, they said.
The single-stage, liquid-propelled ‘Dhanush’, has already been inducted into the defence services. It is one of the five missiles developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
The last trial of the missile was on Nov. 24, 2015 from Indian Navy vessel, INS Subhadra (P51).
Dhanush (Sanskrit: धनुष, “Bow”) is a variant of the surface-to-surface or ship-to-ship Prithvi III missile, which has been developed for the Indian Navy.
It is capable of carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads with pay-load capacity of 500 kg-1000 kg and can strike targets in the range of 350 km.
On 11 March 2011, the missile was successfully test fired from Indian Navy patrol vessel, INS Suvarna (P52) off the coast of Orissa. The Missile was again test-fired successfully on 5 October 2012, on 23 November 2013, 9 April 2015, and 24 November 2015 from Indian Navy ship INS Subhadra (P51) in the Bay of Bengal off the Orissa coast.
The Dhanush missile can be used as an anti-ship weapon as well as for destroying land targets depending on the range.