Balasore, Orissa, May 23: India today successfully testfired the indigenously built medium range surface-to-surface missile 'Prithvi' from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Chandipur-on-sea, about 15 kms from here. According to ITR sources, the missile, developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), was testfired from a mobile launcher from the Launch Complex-III at ITR at 1030 hours.
The 200-250 km range Prithvi, designed for quick maneuverability and war-time efficiency, soared into the clear blue sky hitting the built-up target. ITR sources further said the missile could be used as a tactical battlefield weapon. Although it has a range of 250 km with a 700 kg warhead, the payload could be increased to 1,000 kg.
The first testfiring of Prithvi missile was conducted on February 22, 1988, from the Rocket launching Centre of Sriharikota in Andhra Prdaesh. Since then several testfires had been conducted in the ITR.
Prithvi is one of the five missiles under various stages of development as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The Missile, sources said, was a modified version of the indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle(SLV-3) and used liquid propellant with almost all components made in the country.
Several scientists of the DRDO and officials of the ITR were present during the launching of Prithvi Missile from the launch complex.