Prahaar tactical missile will look the same as above, barring the writing on it and for some component(s). It is a spin-off of endo-atmospheric interceptor used for AD programme (above). Prahaar's minimum range is 50 km and maximum is 150 km. Photos: Tarmak007 Archives
The Launch Complex (LC-III) of the Interim Test Range (ITR) in Balasore (Orissa) is all set for the maiden launch of India’s new tactical missile Prahaar. Sources confirm to Tarmak007 that this short-range missile is capable of hitting targets at a minimum distance of 50 km and maximum of 150 km.“Today we don’t have a good tactical missile for any conventional role. The Russian-made Smerch has a range of 90 km. Prahaar will be in the 90-plus-km-class, capable of carrying a payload of 200-250 kg,” sources tell Tarmak007. Prahaar is an offshoot of India’s AD programme. “It is a spin-off programme – a conversion of endo-atmospheric interceptor used for the AD,” sources said.
DRDO hopes to get a formal sanction for the programme subject to the successive launch of the first missile on July 21. “The programme is not yet sanctioned. What we are attempting is a demonstration launch for the user and only one missile will be tested. We will take the inputs from the user (Army) and make the necessary modifications needed. Then we will go for the final sanction,” sources said.
So what makes Prahaar different? Well, if one were go by what insiders tell Tarmak007 then Prahaar is an extremely cost-effective missile. It will be much cheaper than the BrahMos cruise missile. Since it uses solid propulsion systems, it will be on a ready-for-launch-mode any time. There won’t be any storage issues and the missile will be completely maintenance-free, taking it out of the periodic-checking issues. Load it on to a Canister system and fire it!
Being a road-mobile system, Prahaar can hit multiple targets at a time with the canister system (launcher) able to hold a maximum of 6 missiles. “All components and critical systems for this missile are available in India and it can be produced in large numbers at very short notice making it extremely cost-effective,” sources said.
“We have set a target in sea. Weather is not a concern and we have taken all necessary precautions. Just that clear weather would give us good data. For example, optical tracking will not be possible if it is cloudy. But, we have other options like telemetry and radar tracking,” sources added.
Close to 50 scientists and engineers, including many youngsters, have worked for the Prahaar project.