New supersonic missile ‘Shourya’ test-fired

November 12th, 2008 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Balasore/New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) India Wednesday successfully test-fired a new nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile, that can also be launched from an attack-proof underground silo and is meant to give the Indian Army a credible second-strike capability, an official said. “The test was successful,” an official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that has developed the missile, told IANS.

The 600 km-range Shourya, as the missile has been named, lifted off at 11.25 a.m. from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore in Orissa, about 230 km from the state capital.

“This is a completely new missile that we have developed from our technological resources. We hope the Indian Army will find a use for it,” the official added.

Being capable of being launched from underground, the missile provides a credible second-strike capability since it is immune from enemy attack, the official pointed out.

All the other systems developed by the DRDO - the Agni, Prithvi and Trishul missiles and the Nag anti-tank missile for the Indian Army and the Aakash surface-to-air missile for the Indian Air Force - are fired from over-ground launchers.

Officials in Balasore had originally said that what would be tested from a land launcher Wednesday was a 700-km range submarine-launched ballistic missile. However, the DRDO official in New Delhi was categorical in stating that was what was tested Wednesday was a completely new missile.

“The developmental flight trial of the Shourya missile system is a part of the ongoing technology development work undertaken by the DRDO,” a defence ministry statement said.

“The missile has a unique feature of simplicity of operation and maintenance. It can be easily handled, transported and stored within the canister for longer shelf life.

“The high manoeuvrability of the missile makes it less vulnerable to available anti-missile defence systems,” the statement added.

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