Just a day after successful test fire of the indigenously built ballistic missile Agni-I, the Indian Army successfully tested another nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile – reconfirming its capability and readiness to launch the weapon system within short notice.
Today, on 7th February, the Indian army flight tested short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi-II, hitting targets 350 km off the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha. The test fire of Prithvi-II was conducted by Army’s Strategic Force Command (SFC), who had just finished off a successful test of Agni I yesterday; and the test was monitored by scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The short range missile Prithvi-II has already been inducted in the Indian Army, but today’s tests were conducted to reconfirm the missile’s ability and readiness to instantly fire, within short notice.
Prithvi-II is a 9-metre long and 1-metre thick missile, weighing 4.6 tonnes and powered by a liquid propellant; and it can also be fuelled with solid fuels. During the test, the indigenously build missile was mounted on a Mobile Tatra transporter-erector Launcher (MTL) and fired from the launching complex – III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast at about 11.35 am. Carry a dummy payload, the already inducted missile was picked randomly and covered the desired striking range before plunging into the sea at a predetermined splash-down point. The missile covered about 300 kilometres of distance in just 6 minutes, on a smooth trajectory that was pre-mapped with specific pre-defined coordinates.
This is Indian Army’s third missile test fire in three weeks, with first pre-induction trial of inter-continental range ballistic missile Agni-V from Abdul Kalam Island on January 18. Then, test fire of nuke-capable 700-km range Agni-I missile yesterday. And the third, of course the nuke-capable very short range Prithvi-II. All three art-of-state missiles serve different purposes and together, they strengthen Indian Army’s defence and nuclear combat capabilities.