Sharpening its missile prowess, India today successfully test-fired its nuclear- capable
Prithvi-II ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a test range near here as part of a user trial by the army.
"The surface-to-surface missile was flight tested at around 0907 hrs from a mobile launcher from Integrated Test Range's launch complex-3 at
Chandipur," defence sources said.
Describing the trial of the indigenously developed strategic missile as "fully successful", ITR Director MVKV Prasad said, "All the mission objectives were accomplished."
The state-of-the-art Prithvi is the first ballistic missile developed under the country's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme
(IGMPD) and has the capability to carry 500 kg of both nuclear and conventional warheads with a strike range of 350 km, sources said.
The missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory.
The test-fire of the sophisticated short-range ballistic missile, already inducted into the armed forces, was a user trial by the army and monitored by scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation
The sleek missile is handled by the strategic force command (SFC), a defence scientist said, adding the trial was conducted to gauge the effectiveness of the weapon in a real time situation and improve accuracy.
"The whole exercise was aimed at studying the control and guidance system of the missile besides providing training to the Army," said a DRDO official.
The missile is 9 metre-long and one metre in diameter with liquid propulsion twin engine. A defence scientist associated with the trial said radars and electro-optical systems located along the coast tracked and monitored all the parameters of the missile throughout the flight path.
Prithvi-II has been successfully flight tested several times as part of the training exercise and the last trial was a complete success on August 25, 2012 when it reached the predefined target in the Bay of Bengal with a high accuracy of better than 10 meters, sources said.