Nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from naval ship off Odisha near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal. The missile test was carried out by Strategic Forces Command (SFC), the tri-services military command that controls all of India’s nuclear weapons and their associated delivery systems.
Dhanush missile is also known as Prithvi-III. It is naval variant of indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile. Its design features customisations to Prithvi platform to make it suitable for launch from ship. It is short-range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear as well as conventional warheads.
It has length of 8.53 meters and 0.9 metre wide is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and is capable of hitting both land and sea-based targets. It can be used for both ship-to-ship and ship-to-surface strikes. It has declared strike range of 350 km.
The Dhanush/Prithvi-III is part of five missile platforms that have been indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) since 1983, as part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The other families of missiles developed under IGMPD are Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag. The Dhanush missile made its first test flight in 2000, with first fully operational test conducted in 2004. It has been test-fired total of seven times so far. The last time Dhanush was test fired was in November 2015.