Pralay is based on Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PRV) the Exo-Atmospheric kill vehicle of AAD project

China developed the DF-21 (DongFeng) short-range tactical ballistic missile which is said to have a range of more than 500 km principally to target U.S. warships in the South China Sea Region. But this missile can have serious consequences to India strategic interests in the Indian Ocean Region.
India’s pool of ballistic missiles (BMs) are essentially meant for strategic strike purposes. With China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) fielding a sizeable inventory of conventionally armed BMs in Tibet, the Indian Army (IA) wants to deploy symmetric counters to the same. At the moment, the only means for the IA to strike targets at distances of close to 500 km is the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile (CM), which though deadly accurate, can carry a payload of only about 200 kg or so, besides being somewhat expensive. As such, the IA in recent times has felt the need for a SRBM with a range of around 500 km that can also carry a sizeable payload. It is to address this requirement that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is currently developing a new conventional strike surface to surface missile (SSM) called the Pralay was reported by noted defence journalist Saurav Jah in IDR website.

Design Features

Pralay is essentially a derivative of the PDV exo-atmospheric interceptor with commonality of air-frame and some of the avionics as well. Like the PDV, Pralay’s propulsion system too uses solid fuels that can function in a wide range of temperatures and allow the missile to have a long shelf-life. As such, Pralay is a canisterized system that will be able to strike targets out to 500 km with a payload of around 800 kg. The canister itself is probably designed by DRDO’s Advanced Systems Laboratory.

While Pralay’s on-board inertial navigation system (INS) is capable of receiving multi-constellation satellite updates, the missile is believed to have an accuracy of sub-10 metre CEP even without updates to remove accumulated errors. With its PDV heritage, Pralay will be rather manoeuvrable and capable of quasi-ballistic flight profiles.

Interestingly, if both the PDV and Pralay could be produced in tandem, one could potentially experience greater economies of scale thereby bringing down costs associated with both sets of systems. In a manner of speaking, a part of the total R&D costs of Pralay have in any case been amortised by those expended on developing the PDV interceptor.

The Role 

A conventional strike BM, Pralay is supposed to level the playing field for the Indian military in any engagement with the Chinese. While the Indian Air Force (IAF) has the edge in the skies over the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) in various sectors along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) due to the proximity of its bases to the frontier and the fact that they are in the plains, it is also true that Indian airbases are vulnerable to missile attacks by the PLARF. Waves of such attacks could put Indian airbases out of commission for some hours at a stretch and it is important that the IA is not left completely devoid of the means to attack enemy centres of gravity during those periods. Moreover, massed Pralay attacks on Chinese airbases can also serve to curtail the PLAAF’s sortie rate in certain sectors thereby levelling the playing field for the IAF.

Characteristics of the Missile

  • Surface to Surface Missile
  • Effective Range of 350 km with 1,000 kg Payload
  • 400 km with 500 kg Payload
  • Multiple Warhead capability - PF, Monolithic PCB & Submunition PCB
  • Missile weights around 5 tons
  • HEMRL developed the composite propellant, pyrogen igniter & warhead system for this missile

Pralay Booster Motor Features

    • Composite propellant with 86% solid loading
    • Burn Rate 5,5 @ t Mpa
    • Propellant Grain Length - 5 m
    • Calibre - 740 mm
    • Propellant Weight - 2,940 kg

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