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About Prithvi-II Missile

Context:

Recently, India successfully conducted the night trial of surface-to-surface nuclear-capable short-range ballistic missile Prithvi-II.

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Prithvi-II Missile
  2. About the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

About Prithvi-II Missile

  • The 350-kilometer strike range of the Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile is impressive.
  • It has twin liquid propulsion engines and is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kg of warheads.
  • In 2003, it was added to the Indian defence forces’ armory.
  • It’s a single-stage liquid-fueled missile that stands nine metres tall.
  • To achieve its target, the cutting-edge missile employs an advanced inertial guidance system and a manoeuvring trajectory.
  • It is the first missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
Other variants of Prithvi

The initial project framework of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program outlines the variants in the following manner:

  • Prithvi I (SS-150) – Army version, 150 km range with a payload of 1,000 kg
  • Prithvi II (SS-250) – Air Force version, 350 km range with a payload of 500 kg
  • Prithvi III (SS-350) – Naval version, 350 km range with a payload of 1,000 kg

About the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP)

  • The Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) was conceived by renowned scientist Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam to enable India attain self-sufficiency in the field of missile technology.
  • Dr. Kalam, the then Director of Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL), headed a Missile Study Team to weigh the feasibility of the programme. The team included members from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Army, Navy and Air Force, and Defence Production.
  • Keeping in mind the requirements of various types of missiles by the defence forces, the team recommended development of five missile systems. The IGMDP finally got the approval from the Government of India on July 26, 1983. The ambitious, time-bound project brought together the country’s scientific community, academic institutions, R&D laboratories, industries and the three Services in giving shape to the strategic, indigenous missile systems.

The missiles developed under the programme were

  • Short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi
  • Intermediate-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni
  • Short-range low-level surface-to-air missile Trishul
  • Medium-range surface-to-air missile Akash
  • Third generation anti-tank missile Nag

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