New Delhi: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Wednesday successfully carried out the maiden test of ‘Pralay’, a new surface-to-surface conventional quasi-ballistic missile, in a boost for India’s tactical battlefield strategy.
A quasi-ballistic missile has a low trajectory, and while it is largely ballistic, it can manoeuvre in flight. The missile has a range of 150-500 kilometres and has been developed according to specifications given by eventual user, the Army.
The missile was tested from the Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha and met all its objectives, said a statement issued by the Defence Ministry.
The statement added that the new missile followed the desired quasi-ballistic trajectory and reached the designated target with a high degree of accuracy, validating the control, guidance and mission algorithms.
The missile is powered with a solid propellant rocket motor and multiple new technologies. Sources in the defence establishment underlined that accuracy is a highlight of this missile.
Capable of being launched from a mobile launcher, it has the latest navigation system and integrated avionics, and will be part of the Artillery Corps of the Army.
Pralay will be the longest-range surface-to-surface missile in the inventory of the Army, which sources said will give a fillip to their operational plans.
The Army also has the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in its arsenal, with a stated range of 290-plus kilometres.
‘Change tactical battlefield dynamics’
Former DRDO scientist R.K. Gupta said “Pralay is a game-changer”.
“It will completely change the tactical battlefield dynamics and India will have two conventional missiles with long range. The BrahMos will be a cruise option and this one will be the ballistic option,” he added.
Cruise missiles and ballistic missiles have their own distinct advantages.
While cruise missiles have high agility, stealth and even loitering capability, ballistic missiles have the advantage of speed and countering them is a very difficult task even for modern air defence systems.
Sources said that the Pralay missile project was sanctioned in 2015 and is a derivative of the Prahaar missile programme, which was first tested in 2011.
That missile is yet to be inducted since a greater range was spught.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)