Balasore: After a long spate of bad luck with the Prithvi-II missile, the armed forces, in collaboration with the DRDO scientists, succeeded in testing two nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missiles within an hour from two mobile launchers at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Orissa coast.
Equipped with state-of-the-art guidance system, both the missiles were launched from the launching complex III (LC-III) at the ITR in Chandipur-on-sea, nearly 15 km from Balasore at 8.15 am and 9.15 am.
The indigenously developed surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles were launched one after the other.
The entire launch procedure was carried out by the Strategic Force Command, while the DRDO provided logistic support. ITR director S P Dash said that, it was a fantastic launch. Two missiles aimed at different targets from the launch point, met all their mission objectives. It was a by the book success,"
The tests were conducted as part of the operational exercises. Two naval ships, located at the impact points, tracked and monitored both the missiles hitting the targets very accurately. All the radars and other sensors along the East coast also monitored the missiles trajectory parameters. Both the missiles were taken from the production lot.
The missiles used for the test were randomly picked from the assembly line after production and were launched with inertial navigation system. It has achieved single digit accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability (CEP). The flight paths of the two missiles were smooth and in accordance with the pre-decided co-ordinates. While the first missile covered about 262 km within around 7 minutes, the second missile covered 290 km in 7.13 minutes.
Prithvi, the first missile developed under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), has a capacity to carry a warhead of around 500 to 1,000 kg.
It is 9 m long and 1 m in diameter. It gets its thrust from twin engine liquid propulsion systems and uses Advanced Inertial Guidance System (AIGS) with manoeuvring trajectory and reaches the targets with a few metres' accuracy.
Each missile, weighing around 4.6 tonnes, uses an inertial guidance system with reasonably good accuracy and the warhead uses a radar correlation terminal guidance system. It can target mobile targets including unmanned aerial vehicles.
Incidentally, while the June 18 test was a success, the September 24 test was a failure as the missile fell immediately after it took off from the launch pad. It caught fire after hitting the seaside wall of the launching complex at ITR.