NEW DELHI: India conducted a night test of the nuclear-capable Prithvi-II ballistic missile, which has a strike range of 350-km, from the integrated test range at Chandipur off the Odisha coast on Wednesday. Defence sources described the trial as a “routine, periodic exercise” carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) after randomly picking a missile from the stockpile in a mission to revalidate night-firing capabilities.

“The missile achieved all targeting and technical parameters. The flight path was monitored by radars, telemetry stations and a ship deployed near the designated splashdown in the Bay of Bengal,” said a source.

The liquid-fuelled Prithvi, which was the first nuclear-capable missile to be inducted into the tri-Service SFC in 2003, can carry 500 to 1,000-kg payloads. The three-stage Agni-V, the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile with a strike range of over 5,000km, is also being inducted into the SFC to act as a deterrent against China. Agni-V brings the whole of China within its strike envelope.