SOURCE: ANITA DESAI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
After a gap of 7 years, DRDO developed solid-fuel road-mobile tactical ballistic missile Prahaar (“Strike”) once again made a comeback to the argument the offensive conventional firepower of the Indian Army against strategic and tactical targets. Prahaar which has a range of 150km was developed to provide superior offensive firepower to strike forces against both tactical and strategic targets after its first launch in 2011 it soon went to cold storage due to lack of interest by Indian Army then.
Prahaar only made a come back after Sino-India Doklam standoff when Indian Army felt the need for a battlefield support tactical weapon system due to the ever-increasing deployment of superior tactical weapon system by the Chinese army in the region which is close to the Indian border.
Indian military planners off later have started talking about the possibility of country facing two-front war against China and Pakistan in near future due to which Indian Army felt need to upgrade its short ranged battlefield missile system after 70’s era Prithvi Surface to Surface Missile (SSM) was seen seriously lacking in capabilities to provide quick offensive firepower capabilities against both tactical and strategic targets.
In 2015, DRDO started working on a new short-range ballistic missile dubbed Pralay (“Holocaust”) which will further supplement Prahaar tactical ballistic missile system to provide enhanced firepower against invading armies. Pralay will have a superior range of 350-500km with an enhanced payload of 500-1000 kgs when compared to Prahaar missile system which has a range of 150 km and payload of 300 kgs.
Pralay-Prahaar Duo will enhance Indian army’s firepower in theater level conflicts against command posts and communications nodes and large troops in concentration areas of the hostile forces. Both Tactical ballistic missile system will have Canister Mobile Launcher which will improve its Mobility and also provide quick reaction deployment and launch whenever required. Both missile systems have been developed to defeat any Air defense system which will be deployed by the hostile forces and has capabilities to be re-targeted during flight in the case of engaging mobile targets.
Pralay-Prahaar Duo will give Indian Army precision strike capabilities in theater level conflicts which will not require the intervention of the Indian air force. Local commanders in charge of the missile systems will be able to strike hostile forces within minutes from unprepared positions or provide support to other military units in the region within missile range against numerically large attacks on other sectors in the region. Both Pralay-Prahaar Duo will not be able to carry nuclear payloads but will have the ability to carry several types and sub-types of conventional ammunition depending on the striking targets.