Bringing Prithvi down to Earth: The capabilities and potential effectiveness of India's Prithvi Missile

Z. Mian, A.h. Nayyar, M.v. Ramana, "Bringing Prithvi down to Earth: The capabilities and potential effectiveness of India's Prithvi Missile," Science & Global Security, 7, no. 3, (1998): 333-360.
In recent years, the development, testing and ambiguous deployment status of India's short range Prithvi missile has caused great concern in Pakistan, and accelerated the missile race in South Asia. This paper summarizes the open literature descriptions of Prithvi and assesses the military effectiveness of Prithvi if it is used with conventional warheads in attacks on Pakistani airfields, command centers, and radar installations. It is shown that the current accuracy of Prithvi is such that a very large number of missiles would be needed to damage or destroy such targets. Given India's large air force, the small number of Prithvi missiles that have been ordered by India's armed forces, and the much larger number of missiles required to pose a significant additional military threat to Pakistan, the justification for Prithvi is obviously open to question. It is suggested that the induction of Prithvi with its present limited capabilities may be largely a result of institutional pressure from India's Defense Research and Development Organization, which is responsible for the missile program, rather than demand from the armed forces.

Article access: Taylor & Francis Online | Free PDF

Subscribe

Tags