India test fires ballistic missile Prithvi-II

Balasore (Orissa), Mar 11: Indigenously developed, nuclear-capable ballistic missile Prithvi-II was today (Mar 11) test- fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, about 15 km from here off Orissa coast, in less than an hour of flight testing of "Dhanush" from a naval ship.

"Prithvi-II missile, which has a maximum range of 350 kms, was test fired from a mobile launcher at the launch complex-3 in the ITR" at around 1100 hours, defence sources said.

Official sources said trials of both "Dhanush", test-fired from a warship at a spot between Paradip and Puri, and Prithvi-II missiles were successful.

"Prithvi-II missile has proved its robustness and accuracy repeatedly during many trials earlier," a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official said.

"Taken from routine production lot during earlier user's trials by the Indian Army, the missile has achieved single digit accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability (CEP)," he said.

The missile, which has features to deceive anti- ballistic missile systems, has demonstrated its ability to manoeuvre in earlier trials, the official said.

"As a part of the operational exercises by the Armed Forces, two of Prithvi-11 missiles, aimed at two different targets at 350 km from launch point of ITR, at Chandipur were successfully launched within minutes of each other on Oct 12, 2009 and all the mission objectives were met," he said.

Similarly, "Prithvi" missiles had been successfully test flighted within a gap of one hour from the ITR base at Chandipur on Dec 22, 2010 last. With a maximum strike range of 350 km, Prithvi-II is capable of carrying a 500-1000 kg warhead.

The test firing of the surface-to-surface missile, which has already been inducted into Indian armed forces, was a "routine" trial conducted by the personnel of Strategic Force Command (SFC), the sources said.

"The trial was conducted in the presence of senior officials as part of routine training exercises", they said. Prithvi, the first ballistic missile developed under the country's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), is propelled by twin liquid propulsion engines.


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