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India successfully test-fires two Prithvi-II ballistic missiles

A Prithvi missile takes off during a successful test fire of two such missles conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) at the Interim Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, in Orissa on Wednesday. Photo: PTI

BALASORE (PTI): India Wednesday test-fired two Prithvi-II nuclear-capable ballistic missiles within an hour from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) as part of user trials by the Army at Chandipur off Orissa coast.

"The surface-to-surface missiles mounted on mobile launchers were test-fired from the launch complex-3 in the ITR at around 0815 and 0915 hours (local time)", defence sources said.

With a maximum striking range of 350 km, Prithvi-II is capable of carrying a pay-load of 500-1000 kg warhead.

The test-firing of the indigenously developed missiles, already been inducted into the armed forces, were routine trials conducted by the personnel of strategic force command (SFC), they said.

The first test-fire has already been found successful, while analyses were on to ascertain the outcome of the second trial, they said.

"The entire trajectory of trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, electro-optic telemetry stations and ships launched in the down range impact point area in the Bay for post-launch analyses," the sources said.

During the last user trial from the same launch complex on September 24, 2010, the missile had failed to perform due to some technical problems.

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

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

The missile, which has the features to deceive any anti-ballistic missile, had demonstrated flight duration of 483 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 kms during user’s trial in 2008.

As part of operational exercises by armed forces, two Prithvi-II missiles, aimed at different targets at 350 km from launch point of ITR were successfully launched within minutes of each other on October 12, 2009 and all mission objectives were met, sources said.


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