missile technology Current Affairs - 2019

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Prithvi-2 missile successfully test fired

India successfully test-fired two rounds of its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile at night as part of a user trial by Indian Army. These test were conducted from a mobile launcher from Launch Complex-3 of Chandipur Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore district of Odisha. These were second night trials of Prithvi-II missile.

About Prithvi-2 missile

It is surface-to-surface tactical missile with a strike range of 350 km. It is India’s first missile indigenously developed by DRDO under prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). It is capable of carrying 500 to 1,000 kg of warheads, both conventional as well as nuclear.

The state-of-the-art missile is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.  It uses an advanced inertial guidance system with maneuvering orbit to hit its target. It was inducted into armour of the defence forces in 2003.

Previous Night Trials: The first night testfire of Prithvi-2 was conducted successfully from the ITR on February 21, 2018.

Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile Ghaznavi

Pakistan successfully conducted night training launch of hypersonic surface-to-surface ballistic missile Hatf-III Ghaznavi from Sonmiani test range in Balochistan.

About Hatf-III Ghaznavi Missile

It is “Scud” type short range surface-to-surface hypersonic ballistic missile. It is named after 11th century Muslim Turkic conqueror Mahmud of Ghazni. It has been designed and developed by Pakistan’s missile developer- National Development Complex. Its design is believed to be influenced from Chinese design, M-11 (NATO reporting name: CSS-7). It had entered in service with Pakistan Army in 2012.

Features: It has length of 9.64m, diameter of 0.99 m, launch weight of 5256 kg. It is powered by single stage solid fuel rocket motor. It is capable of delivering multiple types of warheads (both nuclear and conventional warheads) upto range of 290 km.

Kashmir Connection with this test

The launch of missile coincides with Pakistan’s scaled-up effort to internationalise the Kashmir issue after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.  It is also seen as part of two-pronged effort to internationalise Kashmir issue at both military and diplomatic levels, and for impact, raise spectre of nuclear war between the two countries.

In protest to India’s decision to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and also had expelled Indian High Commissioner. It also suspended its trade with India and stopped train and bus services. India has categorically notified international community that repealing of temporary provision of Article 370 was internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

India’s Shaurya missile: DRDO is developing similar missile to Pakistan Hatf-III Ghaznavi Missile for Indian. It is short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, Shaurya. It is capable of carrying different types of warhead (including both nuclear and conventional) weighing around one-tonne at hypersonic speed up to 600km range.