India successfully test-fired its Prithvi-II nuclear capable short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) as part of user trial, on June 27.
The test-firing was conducted from the Launch Complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at the Dr Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island) off the Odisha coast, at around 8:30 pm.
The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the launch activity was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Armed Forces 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.
According to sources cited by local reports, the missile’s trajectory was tracked by radars, electro-optical tracking systems and telemetry stations operated by the DRDO along the coast of Odisha, and the terminal events and splash down was monitored by down range teams on board a ship deployed near the designated impact point in the Bay of Bengal.
The user trial was conducted to consolidate the operational readiness of the country’s strategic missile forces.
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, and has a maximum strike range of 350 km and payload capacity of 500 kg. It is capable of being armed with both conventional and nuclear warhead.
Prithvi-II was inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2003 and was last test-fired on February 21, 2018.