The defence forces are considering the induction of ballistic missiles with ranges around 1,500 km as part of their newly proposed Indian rocket force. This development comes in the wake of the Defence Ministry’s recent clearance for the acquisition of Pralay ballistic missiles.
The forces may select from the existing fleet of ballistic missiles in the strategic forces for conventional use, top government sources said.
The decision to create an Indian rocket force is aimed at strengthening India’s medium-range striking capability, a feature already possessed by neighbouring countries Pakistan and China.
As per the authorities, the Pralay missiles, which are currently being mass-produced, are expected to be ready for operational service soon.
These missiles, powered by a solid-propellant rocket motor and equipped with other novel technologies, have a range of 150 to 500 kilometres. The rocket force project would provide a significant boost to the armed forces’ efforts to develop a strategic rocket force, as advocated by the late Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat.
His vision was recently echoed by Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, who stated that General Rawat had been working on the creation of a rocket force to counter border threats.
The missile guidance system includes state-of-the-art navigation and integrated avionics.
“Pralay is a quasi-ballistic surface-to-surface missile. The advanced missile has been developed in a way to be able to defeat interceptor missiles. It has the ability to change its path after covering a certain range mid-air,” sources said.