Balasore (Orissa): Strengthening its missile prowess, India on Friday successfully test-fired two indigenously developed, nuclear-capable 'Dhanush' and 'Prithvi-II' ballistic missiles, both having 350 km strike range, from separate locations off the Orissa coast.

While 'Dhanush' was flight tested from a naval vessel INS SUVARNA in the Bay of Bengal at a spot between Paradip and Puri at 1005 hours, 'Prithvi-II' surface-to-surface ballistic missile was test-fired at around 11 hours from a mobile launcher at launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, 15 km from here.

"The flight tests were in text book fashion with the missiles reaching the target points with high accuracy," said ITR Director SP Dash.

"All the radars and electro-optical systems located along the coast tracked the missiles and monitored the parameters. The final event was witnessed from a ship located near the impact point," Dash said.

Defence Minister A K Antony congratulated all the DRDO scientists, technicians and the armed forces for the successful tests.

The tests were part of regular training exercise involving the missiles which are under production after successful completion of developmental trials. They have already been inducted by the armed forces, said a Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist.

"Both Dhanush and Prithvi missiles were launched by the Strategic Force Command as part of the regular user training exercise. The missiles were taken from the storage depots and launched," said a senior defence official.

The two missiles were test-fired within five days of the successful demonstration of Ballistic Air Defence Missile System on March 6, 2011, by DRDO.

"The series of successful launches have boosted the morale of scientists and armed forces. The missiles have been integrated under the supervision of Missile Systems Quality Assurance Agency (MSQAA)," a DRDO release said.

Launch operations of both the missiles were monitored by Director, DRDL, P Venugopalan, Dash, Programme Director, VLN Rao and a number of DRDO scientists.

Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and DRDO chief V K Saraswat was present at ITR, Balasore.

A similar exercise, comprising both Dhanush and Prithvi-II were successfully conducted in a "salvo mode" off Orissa coast on March 27, 2010.

Dhanush, also known as the naval version of Prithvi, is a liquid-propellant single-stage missile. It has a pay load capacity of 500 kg and capable of carrying both nuclear as well as conventional warheads. The missile can hit both sea and shore-based targets with pin-point accuracy.

It is 10 metres long, one metre in diameter and weighs six tonnes. The test-firing of the surface-to-surface missile was "a routine trial conducted by the personnel of Strategic Force Command (SFC)", the sources said.

Prithvi was the first missile developed under India's prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The surface-to-surface missile has proved its robustness and accuracy repeatedly during many trials earlier since the first test in 1988.

Prithvi missiles equipped with sophisticated guidance systems have hit the specified targets with a very high degree of accuracy.

"Randomly picked up from routine production lot during earlier users' trial by the army, it had achieved single digit accuracy reaching close to zero circular error probability (CEP)," said a defence source.

(Agencies)