INDIA. Mumbai: The Ministry of Defence has cleared the procurement of around 120 ‘Pralay’ ballistic missiles for the Indian armed forces to deploy them along the borders with China and Pakistan.
According to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the indigenously developed missile is a tactical, surface-to-surface, and short-range ballistic missile for use on the battlefield.
The maiden flight test of ‘Pralay’ was successfully conducted on December 22, 2021, followed by a second flight test the next day from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.
‘Pralay’, along with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, will be the longest-range tactical weapon system in the defense forces as the strategic forces command controls the long-range strategic weapons.
DRDO started developing the missile in 2015, and took four years to test the required technologies.
Both China and Pakistan have ballistic missiles, which are for tactical roles. ‘Pralay’ is intended to be India’s answer to the Dongfeng 12 (CSS-X-15) missile of China.
The features of the Pralay missile
The Missile is powered with a solid propellant rocket motor and many new technologies. The missile ranges from 150-500 km and can be launched from a mobile launcher.
The missile guidance system includes a state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics. It is designed to destroy enemy radar and communication installations, command and control centres, and airfields.
It fulfills the Indian Army’s requirement for a conventionally armed tactical ballistic missile. It is powered by a solid-fuel rocket motor. It follows a quasi-ballistic trajectory, utilising a composite propellant that generates more energy than the propellant used for the Agni missile series.
The missile is being procured amid renewed tensions with China along the LAC following the clashes in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament on December 13 that the Chinese troops tried to ”unilaterally” change the status quo in the Yangtse area in the Tawang sector. Still, the Indian Army compelled them to retreat with its firm response.
Besides, there was no visible outcome from the 17th round of the India-China Corps Commander level meeting held on December 20 at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point to exchange views to resolve the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector.
The Indian side pointed out the issues at the friction points of Demchok and Depsang in eastern Ladakh. However, after a 10-hour-long meeting, the two sides merely agreed to maintain stability and stay in close contact through military and diplomatic channels to resolve the remaining issues.