Nuke-capable Prithvi-II missile test scheduled for next week
By Hemant Kumar Rout / ENS - BALASORE
17th August 2012 02:19 PM
After successful trials of two Agni variant missiles, the Indian Army is gearing up for a user associate launch of nuclear capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II ballistic missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast to make it more battle-savvy.
The missile which was earlier planned to be tested on Friday has been scheduled for next week. Prithvi is the first ballistic missile developed under the country's most ambitious integrated guided missile development programme.
Defence sources said the mission is likely to be conducted any time in between August 25 and 26 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea. Preparation for the test is on as per schedule at the launching complex-III of the ITR.
While the test would be carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the armed forces to gauge its effectiveness and performance in a real time situation, DRDO would provide all logistical support for the mission. The missile to be used for the test has been picked up randomly from the assembly line post production.
"The mission is named as limited stock production (LSP) series test. Taken from a routine production lot, the missile would be launched with an improved aided inertial navigation system as part of a training exercise by the armed forces," said a defence official.
The test is significant for the DRDO as twin trials of the missile had ended in failure on December 21 last year. Both the missiles failed to take off as pressure couldn't be built up after ignition. Though the countdown was smooth, technical glitches developed prior to the take off as CFNA gas was leaked from the missile-system.
"The problem developed with the missile system has been fixed and rectified accordingly. We expect a good and smooth mission this time," said a defence scientist.
One of five missiles developed under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, Prithvi-II is capable of carrying a payload of between 500 kg and one tonne, including nuclear weapons. The medium-range sleek missile which weighs around 4.6 tonne has a length of 9 metres and is one metre in diameter. It has a strike range of 350 km and is propelled by two engines than run on liquid fuel.
The Prithvi missile project encompassed developing three variants for use by the Indian Army, Air Force and the Navy. The variants include Prithvi I, Prithvi II and Prithvi III.
The missile which has been inducted in the Army can be taken close to the forward line over any kind of terrain. The missile stops climbing when it reaches an altitude of 30 km and dives the target at an 80 degree angle.
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