Amidst the ongoing LAC standoff with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, the Indian Army is in line to acquire a new, destructive weapon to counter the formidable Chinese behemoth.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which has done the nation proud by developing a host of powerful missiles, has added another feather to its already glittering crown with its latest achievement – the Pralay missile.
Intended to be India’s answer to the Dongfeng 12 (CSS-X-15) missile of China, Pralay is a canisterised tactical, surface-to-surface, and short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) for battlefield use.
News agency ANI quoted defence officials as saying that the proposal moved by the Indian defence forces is at an advanced stage and is scheduled to be taken up for clearance during a high-level meeting later this week.
The proposal is also important as it comes at a time when the Indian forces are working on the creation of a rocket force which has been in discussion at the highest levels in the defence ministry.
The Pralay missile along with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will be the longest-range tactical weapon system in the defence forces as the long-range strategic weapons are controlled by the strategic forces command.
DRDO started developing the Pralay missile in 2015 and took four years to test the required technologies. The DRDO conducted the maiden test of the Pralay missile from Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on December 22, 2021.
Let us take a look at some of the features of the Pralay missile.
– The Pralay missile has a high explosive preformed fragmentation warhead weighing 350 kg to 700 kg. It boasts
Penetration-Cum-Blast (PCB) and Runway Denial Penetration Submunition (RDPS) at a range of 150 km to 500 km.
– The Pralay missile is designed to destroy enemy radar and communication installations, command and control centers and airfields.
– The Pralay missile is road mobile and fulfils the the Indian Army’s requirement of a conventionally armed tactical ballistic missile that is not hampered by India’s ‘No First Use’ nuclear policy.
– The Pralay missile is powered by solid fuel rocket motor and follows quasi-ballistic trajectory. It has the ability to evade anti-ballistic missile (ABM) interceptors by perfroming mid-air maneuvers using maneuverable reentry vehicle.
– The Pralay missile combines technologies developed for exoatmospheric interceptor missile Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) from Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Programme and the Prahaar tactical missile.
– The Pralay missile utilises the same composite propellant developed by the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) for the Sagarika missile (K-15) from the K Missile family. This composite propellant is extremely powerful and generates more energy compared to the propellant used for the Agni missile series.
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