The Indian Ministry of Defence has announced the successful user training launch of the Prithvi-II nuclear-capable ballistic missile on January 10, 2023 from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. The missile struck its target with high accuracy. The user training launch successfully validated all operational and technical parameters of the missile. The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation developed the missile as part of the integrated guided-missile development programme. The missile systems are being acquired under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) category.
Prithvi (“Earth”) is a tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). It is deployed by India’s Strategic Forces Command.
Prithvi I (SS-150) – Army version (150 km (93 mi) range with a payload of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb))
Prithvi II (SS-250) – Air Force version (350 km (220 mi) range with a payload of 500 kg (1,100 lb))
Prithvi III (SS-350) – Naval version (350 km (220 mi) range with a payload of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb))
Prithvi II class is also a single-stage liquid-fueled missile having a maximum warhead mounting capability of 500 kg, but with an extended range of 250 km (160 mi). It was developed with the Indian Air Force being the primary user. It was first test-fired on 27 January 1996 and the development stages were completed in 2004. This variant has been inducted into the army as well. In a test, the missile was launched with an extended range of 350 km (220 mi) and had improved navigation due to an inertial navigation system. The missile features measures to deceive anti-ballistic missiles.
The missile was inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command in 2003, and it was the first missile developed under the IGMDP. After a failed test on 24 September 2010, two more missiles aimed at two different targets were launched on 22 December 2010 and were successful. According to news sources the range is now increased to 350 km (220 mi) and the payload capacity now ranges between 500 – 1000 kg. On June 2, India successfully test-fired its indigenous nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile. The launch happened at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha at 9:50am. The missile, capable of carrying payloads of up to 1,000 kg, was inducted into the armed forces in 2003.