NEW DELHI (Agencies): India successfully conducted a test launch of its indigenously developed short-range ballistic missile, known as “Pralay,” designed for deployment along its borders with China and Pakistan. The missile, named ‘Pralay’ (meaning ‘apocalypse’ in Hindi), was fired from Abdul Kalam Island in the eastern state of Odisha. This test, which took place on Tuesday, marks a significant milestone in India’s defense capabilities, according to reports from PTI news agency.

The Pralay missile boasts a range of 150-500 kilometers and a payload capacity of 500-1,000 kilograms. It was developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), a branch of the Defense Ministry, to address India’s border security needs, as mentioned in the report.

During the test flight, the Pralay missile successfully achieved all its objectives, with its trajectory meticulously tracked along the coastline, as reported by defense officials. The missile’s design is akin to Russia’s Iskander tactical ballistic missile, which has been actively utilized in the Ukraine conflict, as well as China’s Dong Feng-12 (DF-12) missile. Pakistan also possesses tactical ballistic missiles as part of its defense system.

One of the unique features of the Pralay missile is its quasi-ballistic nature, enabling it to evade interceptor missiles by altering its course midair after covering a certain distance. Moreover, it can be deployed from a mobile launcher.

The Pralay missile’s maiden tests were initiated in December 2021 after several years of development by the DRDO. The Indian defense minister noted that the missile is equipped with a solid propellant rocket motor, and its guidance system incorporates a state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics.

In September, India’s Defense Ministry approved the procurement of Pralay missiles during a meeting of the Defense Acquisition Council. An official explained that the proposal was to acquire a regiment of Pralay ballistic missiles with a range of 150-500 kilometers, and the missile’s range can be further extended to meet military requirements.

Reports indicate that the Indian Army intends to deploy these missiles with conventional warheads for tactical purposes. The Pralay missile, in conjunction with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which was jointly developed by India and Russia, is expected to be a cornerstone of India’s Integrated Rocket Force (IRF). The IRF is aimed at enhancing India’s capabilities for non-contact conventional warfare, primarily to counter China’s rapidly expanding missile and nuclear forces, a proposal that was first revealed by late Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat in 2021.

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