Friday, May 04, 2018

Some Updates On The Pralay Missile Development - A Prahar Variant?

A new indigenous Short-Range Missile under development.

Pralay Missile - DRDO - India

To meet the Indian Army's specific requirement of a cost-effective, short-range, ready-to-fire missile, the DRDO initiated the Pralay missile programme, following its sanction in 2015. The canister-stored, solid-fuel projectile is expected to have a range of 350 km, carrying a 1 MT warhead [400 km, with a 0.5 MT warhead], & could replace the cumbersome, liquid-fuelled Prithvi, currently in service with, all the 3 Services & the the custodian of India's fissile "jewel" - the Strategic Forces Command [SFC]. The DRDO Annual Report of 2015, stated that the missile would have Jet Vanes for Thrust Vector Control [TVC], thus imparting mid-flight manoeuvrability, unlike a pure Ballistic Missile.

Pralay Missile - HEMRL - Propellant - DRDO - India


An earlier report called the Pralay "a derivative of the PDV exo-atmospheric interceptor with commonality of airframe and some of the avionics". That said, in a HEMRL poster [above], the agency developing the missile propellant, its diameter is pegged at 0.74 m. The PDV, however, being a derivative of the Prithvi, would, therefore, likely have a diameter close to it - 1.1 meter.

On the other hand, Pralay's [canisterised] diameter exactly matches that of the Shaurya missile, also 0.74 m - Shaurya's missile diameter is 0.62 m. Add to the fact that the Sharuya, too is canisterised & possesses fair degree of manoeuvrability leads one to asses that the 5 MT Pralay could, in fact, be a smaller, shorter-range variant of this. Sharing common roots should also help compressing the project development timeline. Warheads developed for the Pralay, as indicated in the poster, include Pre-fragmented devices, Monolithic & Submunition Penetration cum Blast [Monolithic PCB] warheads, weighing between 0.35 MT to 0.7 MT.

Research & Development Establishment (Engineers) [R&DE (E)], the DRDO lab responsible for the missile's vehicular platform, recently, invited a Request For Proposal [RFP] from the private sector for the "Development, Fabrication, Manufacturing, Assembly, Integration, Testing and Supply of the PRALAY Mobile Launcher System (MLS)".

While the RFP, in itself, does not exactly tell us how far ahead the programme is, it does indicate that it is moving ahead. That, in itself, a positive development. As per the earlier report, the "Pralay is headed into developmental flight testing at the moment and is expected to be offered for user trials by next year".

Will update, as per availability of newer information.


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