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PRALAY: Successful launch of surface-to-surface missile


PRALAY: Relevance

  • GS 3: Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


PRALAY: Context

  • Recently, an indigenous new surface to surface Conventional ballistic missile was successfully tested from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha.


PRALAY: Key points

  • For the first time, two consecutive flight tests of a ballistic missile have been conducted successfully on two consecutive days.
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) started working on the project to develop a short-range solid-fuel surface-to-surface missile, around 2015.
  • Pralay can hit the target at a range of 150 to 500 kilometres with an accuracy of less than 10 metres.
  • the ‘Pralay’ missile was tested for heavier payload and different range to prove the precision and lethality of the weapon.
  • This launch was monitored by all the range sensors and instruments, including Telemetry, Radar and Electro-Optic Tracking System deployed across the eastern coast and the down range ships positioned near the impact point.
  • Pralay missile can be launched from a mobile launcher, and has a guidance system that includes state-of-the-art navigation mechanisms and integrated avionics.
  • Pralay is a new-generation surface-to-surface missile equipped with modern technologies and the induction of the weapon system will provide the necessary impetus to the armed forces.


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What is a ballistic missile?

  • A ballistic missile is targeted as a projectile from a single launch force with not much-added guidance.
  • It travels outside the atmosphere, detaches the warhead and falls back to earth.
  • It follows the path of a ball thrown upwards which falls down.
  • Since it depends on gravity to reach its target, it’s called a ballistic missile.


What is a quasi-ballistic missile?

  • A quasi-ballistic missile (also called a semi ballistic missile) is a category of missile that has a low trajectory and/or is largely ballistic but can perform manoeuvres in flight or make unexpected changes in direction and range.


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Classifications of ballistic missile

There are four general classifications of ballistic missiles based on their range, or the maximum distance the missile can travel:

  • Short-range: less than 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles), also known as “tactical” ballistic missiles.
  • Medium-range: between 1,000 and 3,000 kilometers (approximately 620-1,860 miles), also known as “theater” ballistic missiles.
  • Intermediate-range: between 3,000 and 5,500 kilometers (approximately 1,860-3,410 miles)
  • Long-range: more than 5,500 kilometers (approximately 3,410 miles), also known as intercontinental or strategic ballistic missiles. Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) can fly much further than the minimum range.


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