Army sucessfully test-fires Prithvi-I missile
Prithvi, India's tactical surface-to-surface missile mainly developed for use against Pakistan, was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur on Wednesday.
This was the third successful missile test conducted from the ITR within a month. The nuclear-capable Agni-III intermediate range ballistic missile with a range of over 3000-kms was successfully test-fired from ITR facilities at Wheeler Island on April 12. The BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was successfully test-fired from Chandipur on April 22.
Though the Prithvi missile has already been inducted into the Indian Army, Wednesday's test was important as the missile was picked up randomly from the assembly line. Mounted on a mobile tatra Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL), the missile was fired from the launching complex-3 (LC-3) of the ITR at 10.04 am in overcast conditions.
Scientists of the DRDO along with senior officers of the Indian Army jointly conducted the test. Sources termed the test as a "user's trial". The battlefield missile has a strike range of 150-km to 300-km. The variant of Prithvi for Army use, which was tested on Wednesday, is mainly dedicated for battlefield use. It's capable of carrying nuclear/strategic warheads as well as conventional payloads such as pre-fragmented explosives, incendiary, cluster munitions, sub-munitions, fuel-air and high explosives.
The missile is road-mobile and it can be transported to the forward line on any kind of terrain to wreak maximum damage in enemy territory.
According to sources, the utility of the Prithvi missile is mainly aimed at destroying troop concentration, crippling air bases and striking at static installations and headquarters when required. The missile is 8.55 metre long and has a diameter of 1.1 metre. The Army has also set up two separate missile groups, regiments 333 and 355, for handling the missile.