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India Test Fires Tactical Ballistic Missile Akin to American MGM-140

The Prahaar – capable of carrying conventional warheads up to 150 kilometres – is designed with the aim to neutralise threats emanating from Pakistan's NASR procured from China (discontinued Weishi-2), a tactical nuclear missile purportedly capable of destroying Indian Army’s armour units

When India conducted its second test of a Quick Reaction Surface-To-Surface battlefield strike weapon (20-Sep-2018), it laid the foundation for a much needed deterrence system for the Indian Army and Air Force.

Designated Prahar, or Strike, this was the second test of the missile and there would be some more to establish its required parameters before induction with the Indian Army and Air Force units. The missile can be launched from its canisters within two to three minutes without much preparations, and can also be ferried on road and rail mobile launchers.

The missile has been described as a Quick Reaction (QR) system. It is an all weather, all terrain, accurate targeting weapon and can be fired in salvos of six from its launchers covering the entire azimuth plane. According to DRDO, the missile can take out multiple targets.

Powered by solid fuel propellants, Prahar has a length of 7.3 metres, diameter of 420 mm, and weighs 1,280 km. It takes about 250 seconds to reach a target 150 km away. It carries a payload of 200 kg.

It is not known if the new missile will be armed with small, tactical nuclear bombs but it is the officially declared policy of the Indian Government that India would not use nuclear weapons first, and never against non-nuclear countries reported India Strategic website.

DRDO scientists would attempt to reduce the weight of the missile as the tests progresses. Reduced weight of the propellant rocket would compensate for higher explosive package.

Prasun K Sengupta reports that ‘Prahar’ surface-to-surface battlefield support missile is destined to replace about 350-odd existing Prithvi SS-150 liquid-fuelled battlefield interdiction missiles that are now nearing the end of their service lives. The ‘Prahar’ will reportedly come packed in a six-unit pod configuration on board a high-mobility BEML wheeled vehicle housing both a SATCOM-equipped command-and-control shelter as well as a transporter-erector-launcher mechanism designed by Larsen & Toubro.
The ‘Prahar’ follows a relatively simple three-element design, comprising a warhead in the fore section, propulsion unit, including the solid-fuel rocket motor with a nozzle. The nozzle is encircled by the navigation, flight control and guidance unit, which includes the integrated avionic guidance and flight control section, cruciform tail control surfaces, actuators, related antennas and connectors. The ‘Prahar’ can be launched within few minutes from unprepared positions thus providing significantly better reaction time than the liquid-fuelled Prithvi missiles. In fact, any target whose location is known within the range of the missile can be attacked within less than 10 minutes from the launch decision. Each ‘Prahar’ will be housed within a disposable sealed cannister providing a 10-year service-life and very low maintenance costs.

India has an advanced home grown missile program now, which took time to develop, but is now maturing rapidly with various missiles being tested or developed from 40 to 8,000 km. Prahar is developed to provide Indian Army a cost effective, quick reaction, all weather, all terrain, high accurate battle field support tactical system.

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