IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


11th January, 2023 Security

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Context: A successful training launch of a Short-Range Ballistic Missile, Prithvi-II was carried out from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha



  • Prithvi is a tactical surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).
  • It is deployed by India's Strategic Forces Command.


  • The Prithvi missile project encompassed developing three variants for use by the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
  • The initial project framework of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program outlines the variants in the following manner:
  • Prithvi I (SS-150) – Army version (150 km) range with a payload of 1,000 kg
  • Prithvi II (SS-250) – Air Force version (350 km) range with a payload of 500 kg
  • Prithvi III (SS-350) – Naval version (350 km) range with a payload of 1,000 kg

Prithvi I

  • Prithvi I class is a single-stage liquid-fueled surface-to-surface ballistic missile having a maximum warhead mounting capability of 1,000 kg, with a range of 150 km
  • This class of Prithvi missile was inducted into the Indian Army in 1994

Prithvi II

  • Prithvi II class is also a single-stage liquid-fueled missile having a maximum warhead mounting capability of 500 kg, but with an extended range of 250 km
  • It was developed with the Indian Air Force being the primary user.
  • It was first test-fired on 27 January 1996 and the development stages were completed in 2004.
  • This variant has been inducted into the army as well.

Prithvi III

  • Prithvi III class is a two-stage surface-to-surface missile.
  • The first stage is solid fueled. The second stage is liquid-fueled.
  • Prithvi III was first tested in 2000 from INS Subhadra, a Sukanya-class patrol vessel.

Dhanush (missile)

  • Dhanush is a variant of the surface-to-surface or ship-to-ship Prithvi III missile, which has been developed for the Indian Navy.
  • It is capable of carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads with pay-load capacity of 500 kg-1000 kg and can strike targets in the range of 350 km.
  • Dhanush is a system consisting of a stabilization platform and the missile.
  • It is a customized version of the Prithvi and is certified for sea worthiness.
  • Dhanush has to be launched from a hydraulically stabilized launch pad.
  • Its low range acts against it and thus it is seen as a weapon either to be used to destroy an aircraft carrier or an enemy port.
  • The missile has been tested from surface ships of the navy many times.