DRDO test-launches indigenous surface-to-surface missile, Pralay

DRDO test-launches indigenous surface-to-surface missile, Pralay
22 Dec, 2021

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a successful test-launch of its new, indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile, Pralay. The conventional missile has been developed and built to the specifications issued by the Indian Army, according to G. Satheesh Reddy, chairman of DRDO and secretary of the Department of Defence R&D under the Indian government.

Pralay was test-fired on December 22 from Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Island, off the coast of Odisha.

Pralay is a quasi-ballistic missile, which means that it will have a low trajectory, and can be manoeuvred in flight. According to the Department of Defence, Pralay is powered by a solid propellant rocket motor. It can be launched from a mobile launcher unit, and can traverse a range of 150 to 500 kilometres.

The Pralay missile is also said to feature a newly developed missile guidance system, which includes integrated avionics and a state-of-the-art navigation system. Pralay is now officially the longest-range surface-to-surface missile in the Indian Army’s arsenal, and joins BrahMos -- a supersonic cruise missile with over 290 kilometres of target range.

The two missiles add distinct properties in India’s surface-to-surface missile arsenal. BrahMos offers stealth and agility as its key properties, while Pralay brings high speed and a longer range with it. According to reports, a quasi-ballistic missile such as Pralay is difficult for modern air defence systems to contend with.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Defence said that the test mission of Pralay matched all the required objectives. It is said to have reached its designated target with a “high degree of accuracy”, which in turn validates its control system’s guidance and algorithms.

According to reports, Pralay is a variation of the ‘Prahaar’ missile programme, which was test-fired in 2011 but later put on the back burner as the Indian Army sought greater range from its surface missile. The Pralay missile was reportedly sanctioned in 2015.

At DefCon 2020, the Indian government was reported to have been working on a ballistic missile with a range of 200 kilometres. It’s not clear if Pralay is an evolution of the aforementioned mission as well.