Picture of Russian 9K720 Iskander Missile System

Sanctioned in March 2015, DRDO was tasked to develop an Army specific Short-range tactical ballistic missile (SRBM) which weighs around five tonnes can carry a payload of one tonne, which can strike at targets 350 km away. It can travel up to 500 km if the payload is halved can outperform China’s Dongfeng 12 and Russia’s 9K720 Iskander tactical missiles. 

Fast forward into today, Fast track program sanctioned in 2015 has missed several deadlines for its first flight trial. the first experimental trial of Pralay which is a conventional tactical missile system was supposed to take place in December 2018 but was postponed several times due to technical reasons. 

Pralay SRBM which comes with canister-based transporter erector launcher is an indigenously developed weapon system that can surprise the enemy in any battlefield condition. the five-tonne missile can evade any ballistic missile defense system and is a derivative of Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) exo-atmospheric interceptor missile. 

Agni-1P program sanctioned in 2016 is meant to replace older Prithivi SSM developed in the early ’80s in service with the Indian Army. Agni-1P will have a range of 300-700 kilometers, which means it will be in between ranges of the Prithvi and Agni-1. Agni-1P which is a Nuclear capable missile system is predominantly Pakistan-focused and will cutting-edge technologies developed for the Agni-4 and Agni-5 missiles.

Agni-1P will be shorter than current Prithiv-1 and also a lot thinner in diameter, which makes it highly compact and portable in size. Agni-1P will be highly road-mobile and also will come with a canister-based transporter erector launcher mounted on chassis of 8×8 heavy off-road military truck. 

Both Pralay SRBM and Agni-1P SSM were Fast track programs initiated by the Indian Army and DRDO was tasked to develop them on priority bases over other programs yet both missile system is yet to start its experimental developmental flight trials before it can start user trials, which can take up to 3-4 years before it enters production but serious delays and secrecy around delays in the program have hampered India’s offensive capabilities and it must be addressed quickly. 

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