BHUBANESWAR: Continuing its user training exercise, the Indian Armed Forces on Friday successfully test fired nuclear capable surface-to surface ballistic missile Dhanush in full operational configuration from a Naval warship positioned in the Bay of Bengal.

Defence sources said the trial was conducted at about 10.52 am by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Navy from an undisclosed location nearly 45 km from Paradip coast.This was third test of a Prithvi variant of missile this month and second in the last three days. On Wednesday, the SFC of Indian Army had successfully conducted first night trial of Prithvi-II ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off Odisha coast.

The test aimed at checking the performance of manoeuvring stealth warheads besides gauging the efficiency and killing probability of the missile in a realtime situation. It achieved close to zero circular error probability (CEP), accuracy and mission parameters like elevation, trajectory, azimuth, flight path and stage separation were rightly validated.

A defence official said mission Dhanush was excellent as it met all the parameters as expected. “The missile was test fired from a Naval warship while another warship provided all logistic support for the test. It was a text book launch and fantastic mission accomplished,” he said.Dhanush, the indigenously developed Naval version of Prithvi short-range ballistic missile, has a strike range upto 350 km and can neutralise both land-based and sea-based targets. It can carry single warhead, conventional or nuclear up to 500 kg.

Developed by the DRDO under its ambitious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), the missile is about 8.53 metres in length and 0.9 metre in diameter besides its launch weight about 4.4 tonnes. The single stage missile uses liquid propellant and can be used as an anti-ship weapon as well as for destroying land targets depending on the range.

Dhanush is under production after it successfully completed several developmental and user trials. It has already been inducted into the Armed Forces. Prior to the test a Notam was issued to aviators and mariners to keep away from the area of splashdown.