First night trial of Agni-II conducted

India on Monday test-fired nuke-capable Agni-II missile during night for the first time.

Updated: Nov 23, 2009, 21:09 PM IST

Balasore (Orissa): India on Monday test-fired
its nuclear capable Agni-II Intermediate Range Ballistic
Missile (IRBM) during night for the first time from the
Wheeler Island off Orissa coast.

The night trial, a major step towards making it fully
operational in the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), was
conducted from a rail mobile system in the launch complex-4 of
Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 7.50 pm, a defence source
said soon after the versatile and indigenously developed
surface-to-surface missile blasted off from the launch pad.

"It was a smooth launch. Data relating to various
parameters of the missions` objectives are being analysed,"
said a defence official who witnessed the test launch.

The 2,000-km plus Agni-II has already been inducted
into service and today`s test was carried out by the SFC of
the Indian Army while logistic support was provided by various
laboratories and personnel of the Defence Research and
Development Organisation (DRDO), sources said.

On the significance of conducting night trial, a DRDO
scientist said since it is a training exercise for the
end-users, one should be familiar with the operation in
extreme conditions.

The entire trajectory of today`s trial was tracked by
a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation
stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ship located
near the impact point in the down range of the Bay, the
sources said.

Agni-II is a two stage, solid propelled ballistic
missile and is 20-meter long. The launch weight of the missile
is 17 tonnes.

It is capable of carrying a pay load of 1,000 kg over a
distance of 2,000 km.

Agni-II was developed by the Advanced Systems
Laboratory along with other DRDO laboratories and integrated
by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.

The missile is part of the Agni series which includes
Agni-I of 700 km range and Agni-III (3,500 km).

Agni-I has already been inducted into service while
Agni-III is in the process of induction.

The first trial of Agni-II was on April 11, 1999 and
the last test was conducted on May 19, 2009 from the Wheeler
Island, which was not "fully successful".