BALASORE: The Indian military successfully test-fired the Dhanush missile from a warship off the coast of Odisha on Friday morning. The Dhanush missile is also known as the Prithvi-III, and is a short-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
Dhanush is the naval variant of the surface-to-surface Prithvi missile platform. It can be used for both ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface strikes. The missile has a declared strike range of 350 km, and is capable of carrying a warhead up to 500 kg in weight. The missile may also be fitted with conventional warheads.
Officials told news agency PTI that Friday's test of the Dhanush was a "complete success" and that all the mission objectives had been achieved. All flight parameters were monitored and verified by the telemetry and radar facilities of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which developed the Dhanush missile.
The missile test was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command, the tri-services military command that controls all of India's nuclear weapons and their associated delivery systems.
The Dhanush missile made its first test flight in 2000, with the first fully operational test conducted in 2004. It has been test-fired a total of seven times so far. The last time the Dhanush was test fired was in November 2015.
The design of the Dhanush missile features customisations to the Prithvi platform to make it suitable for launch from a ship. These design modifications would include a stabilisation platform.
The Dhanush/Prithvi-III is part of the five missile platforms that have been developed by the DRDO since 1983, as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The other families of missiles developed under the IGMPD are Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag.
(With inputs from PTI)