Prithvi is a surface-to surface missile with a range of 40 km to 250 km. The integrated missile delivered in an unprepared state is housed in a GFRP container. The missile is prepared and launched from a specially designed mobile launcher mounted on a TATRA T-815 VVL 8 x 8 vehicle. The missile is transported on launcher horizontally and then articulated to vertical position for launching. The launcher has an inbuilt electronic safety interlock system for the safety of missile and operating crew during articulation of missile. The launcher houses a launch pad computer, relay box and audio communication system required for pre launch checks and launching the missile. To cater for power requirements of these systems a 5.7 kW DC generator has been provided. A removable type canopy on the launcher provides protection and camouflage. The articulation of the missile is achieved by a hydraulic control system to articulate the launch beam, vehicle stabiliser cylinders, cradle-operating cylinder and clamping cylinders. An electronic controller with safety interlocks has been provided for articulation in automatic mode and to ensure safety.

The hydraulic control system utilises load independent proportional flow control system for smooth and jerk free operation. It can be operated both in manual and auto mode with the help of an electronic controller. Safety interlock logic has also been provided in the controller to ensure safety against any wrong operation. In case of any wrong operation, the system automatically goes to the unloading mode. The vehicle engine drives the main pump of the hydraulic system. The system is designed for 275 bar pressure.The Army and the Air Force versions of these missile launchers have been successfully developed.The Army version has already been inducted. The Air Force version is under bulk production.

                                                                                                                       Launching platform for Prithvi

Salient Features


  • Firing of the missile is carried out in vertical plane containing the center line of the chassis and the  center line of the missile within the verticality of 90 30' arc after levelling missile to the desired level of accuracy

  • The launcher is protected against heat and blast

  • Safety of launcher and missile is ensured, both in transportation and articulation mode

  • Cradle top plate is provided with three-point screw jack levelling arrangement to achieve verticality of missile within 30' arc

  • The launcher is designed to withstand wind velocities of 30 m/s for missile in launch readiness and 10 m/s for missile launch

  • Cradle top plate has arrangement to mount the umbilical chord housing and the chord protection from the missile exhaust

  • The launcher is designed to withstand a temperature of - 20 to 55 C and an altitude up to 4500 m

  • Missile is rigidly clamped to the support beam at bulkhead positions

  • A missile arrester lug is provided for arresting the sliding of the missile during transport mode and to provide the required alignment of the missile on the launcher while loading

  • A foldable/removable stand is provided for mounting of Theodolite for azimuth alignment

  • Missile connection to launch table assembly is through launch release mechanism and base ring (during transport mode the missile is connected to cradle top plate of launch table, and rear and front arrester lugs are inserted)

  • Suitable floor provided on the chassis for movement of personnel. The floor top designed to withstand any propellant spillage. Working platforms with suitable ladders provided for easy approach to propellant ports. The floor has removable covers for maintenance of vehicle transmission/recovery winch. Suitable protection provided for vehicle wheel tyres from heat

  • Electrical systems are housed in a suitable compartment mounted on floor.

  • Launcher controls are positioned in such a way that the operator closely watches the articulation of the missile during manual operation

Prithvi Launcher Control System


The main role of this system is to control and monitor various operations of hydraulically operated structure and interconnecting the movements of the structure. The system consists of a main controller developed around an 8-bit single chip microcontroller having number of LED indications, switches, alphanumeric display with serial RS-422 communication facility, necessary feedback sensors, junction boxes and interconnecting harnesses. It provides control and operational safety to missile and launcher assembly by allowing hydraulic operation only when all the preset safety conditions are fulfilled. Besides this, the controller has visual indications giving status of launcher structural components and operation status, whether 'Safe' or 'Danger', inbuilt interlocks to take care of critical operational faults. Self check, online help and diagnosis are the important features of the system. It also has facility to programme speed and timings of up and down ramp voltages for desired speed to actuate the proportional control valves used in hydraulic system. The main controller consists of a CPU card and other necessary analog-digital peripheral cards.


                                                                                                                Prithvi launcher control system