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India, Pakistan successfully test-fire n-capable missiles

Friday March 11, 2011 03:09:51 PM, IANS

Balasore/Bhubaneswar: India Friday successfully test-fired its homegrown nuclear-capable Prithvi II and Dhanush missiles, a defence official said. Pakistan too tested its nuclear-capable Hatf-II ballistic missile.

The Prithvi II surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 350 km was launched from Chandipur, some 230 km from Orissa capital Bhubaneswar. Dhanush, the naval version of Prithvi with the same range, was launched from Indian Naval Ship INS Suvarna off the Puri coast.

The two missiles were test-fired within five days of the successful demonstration of the Ballistic Air Defence Missile System on March 6 by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

All the radars and electro-optical systems located along the coast tracked the missile and monitored all the parameters. Ships located near the impact point witnessed the touchdown, ITR director S.P. Dash told IANS about the Dhanush launch.

"The flight test was perfect, with textbook trajectory and the missile reaching the target point with a very high accuracy of less than a few meters," he said.

The Prithvi II missile was successfully flight tested from launch complex III at the integrated test range at Chandipur within one hour of the Dhanush test, he said. The trajectory of the missile was also monitored by all the telemetry, radar and electro-optical systems all through the flight, he said.

"Prithvi II reached the designated target with accuracy of few meters, which can be achieved by very few missiles in the world. The down range ship at the impact location witnessed the final event", Dash said.

Both missiles were launched by the Strategic Forces Command as part of its regular user training exercise.

The series of successful launches boosted the morale of the scientists and armed forces. The missiles have been integrated with a very high level of quality under the supervision of Missile Systems Quality Assurance Agency, Dash said.

Prithvi II, a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 350 km, is a variant of India's first indigenously-built ballistic missile. It is one of the five missiles being developed under India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

The missile, with a flight duration of 483 seconds reaching a peak altitude of 43.5 km, has the capability to carry a 500 kg warhead.

Prithvi, which has features to deceive anti-ballistic missiles, uses an advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring capabilities and reaches its target with a few metres of accuracy.

Dhanush, with a range of 350 km, is a single-stage ship-based missile with a 500 kg pay-load and capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.

The naval missile, with a liquid propellant, is designed to target both sea and shore-based targets. Though Dhanush had failed in its first test at take-off stage on April 11, 2000, its subsequent trials were successful. It was last successfully flight tested on March 27 last year from Indian warship INS Subhadra in the Bay of Bengal.

Pakistan too successfully test-fired the Hatf-II (Abdali) short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile. The missile, with a range of 180 km, can carry nuclear and conventional warheads to the target.

The test-firing was conducted at an undisclosed location and was witnessed by the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Shamim Hyder Wyyne, according to Xinhua. It is the second test of this kind by Pakistan in two months.

Pakistan and India, which have fought three wars since their partition in 1947, regularly test-fire missiles to display each other's capability.

India's missile family comprises of the strategic Agni ballistic missile, the tactical Prithvi ballistic missile, the Akash and Trishul surface-to-air missiles and the Nag anti-tank guided missile and their variants, apart from the BrahMos cruise missile it is jointly developing with Russia.

Pakistan's missile repertory include Hatf ballistic missiles and its variants, Ghaznavi short-range ballistic missile, Ghauri and Shaheen medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles, Babur cruise missiles and Baktar-Shikan anti-tank guided missile, most of which have been developed with China's help.





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