Indian Missile Program Updates

Prithvi-II Missile successfully test-fired


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Prithvi-II Missile

Mains level: Not Much

Successfully test-fire of indigenously developed, nuclear-capable Prithvi-II Missile was recently held.

Prithvi-II Missile

  • The Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile has a strike range of 350 km.
  • It is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kilogram of warheads and is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.
  • It was inducted into the armory of Indian defence forces in 2003.
  • It is a nine-metre-tall, single-stage liquid-fuelled missile.
  • The state-of-the-art missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory to hit its target.
  • It is the first missile to have been developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

Other variants of Prithvi

  • The Prithvi missile project encompassed developing three variants for use by the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
  • The initial project framework of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program outlines the variants in the following manner:
  1. Prithvi I (SS-150) – Army version, 150 km range with a payload of 1,000 kg
  2. Prithvi II (SS-250) – Air Force version, 350 km range with a payload of 500 kg
  3. Prithvi III (SS-350) – Naval version, 350 km range with a payload of 1,000 kg

Significance of the test-fire

  • Developed as a battlefield missile, it can carry a nuclear warhead in its role as a tactical nuclear weapon.
  • This is the second such test fire of nuclear capable highly manoeuvrable missile in weeks.


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