Will India’s Pralay Missile prove to be a better than China’s Dongfeng 12 and Russia’s 9K720 Iskander? India will conduct the first test of Short Range Ballistic Missile (SRBM), Pralay, from a canister mobile launcher between September 20 and 22 from a defence test facility off Odisha coast.
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This surface-to-surface tactical missile has to follow a manoeuvrable trajectory. For this, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has asked the administration of Balasore district to evacuate people residing in the three-kilometer area of the launching complex. This is for the first time that people are being evacuated from a large area.
“Earlier people were being evacuated within a radius of two km for the test of certain missiles. But this time, the evacuation area has been extended to a radius of three km,” said a district official.
The home-grown SRBM can be compared with China’s Dongfeng 12 and Russia’s 9K720 Iskander, both short-range tactical ballistic missiles, a defence official on Friday told the Indian media. “The experimental trial is aimed at validating the technologies incorporated in the system for the first time and gauging the firepower. If weather permits, the missile will be test fired as scheduled,” he said.
Indigenously created and produced by DRDO, the missile is a derivative of Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) exo-atmospheric interceptor missile, proficient of defeating enemy weapons at high altitudes. Pralay, which is much faster and precise, has a strike range of 350 kilometre to 500 kilometre and weighs around five tonnes. With a payload of 1000 kilogram, it can travel a distance of 350 kilometre. If the payload is bisected, the missile will be able to hit a target as far as 500 kilometre.
Fuelled by composite propellant and developed by Pune-based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), it uses an inertial navigation system for mid-course supervision. Since India’s most of the SRBMs are for strategic strike missions, development of tactical Pralay was required after the army inquired for a 500-km range SRBM that can carry a sizable payload. The project was sanctioned in March 2015 at a cost of approximately INR crores.