India successfully test-fired its new indigenously developed nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile Prithvi-II on Thursday from a test range at Chandipur in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. The launch was conducted at about 9:20 a.m. local time (10:50 p.m. EST, Wednesday).
Prithvi-II has a range of about 350 kilometers (about 217 miles), and is capable of carrying warheads weighing between 500 kilograms (about 1,102 pounds) and 1,000 kilograms (about 2,205 pounds), Press Trust of India (PTI), an Indian news agency, reported.
“The trial of the missile conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) was fully successful,” MVKV Prasad, director of the Indian Army's Integrated Test Range, told PTI. “The missile was randomly chosen from the production stock and the entire launch activities were carried out by the specially formed SFC and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as part of training exercise.”
Prithvi-II, which was introduced to India’s SFC in 2003, is reportedly the first missile to be developed by DRDO under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Program.
Thursday’s test came only five days after India test-fired its new BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the Indian Navy’s newest destroyer, INS Kolkata.
The BrahMos missile, developed with the help of Russian technology, has a range of 290 kilometers (about 180 miles) and is capable of carrying a warhead weighing up to 300 kilograms (about 661 pounds). The missile has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which makes it about three times faster than the U.S. subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile, the Indo-Asian News Service reported.