India successfully test Agni-III missile

India successfully test-fired its indigenous Agni-III ballistic missile.

Updated: Feb 08, 2010, 00:01 AM IST

Balasore/New Delhi: India on Sunday successfully
test-fired its indigenous Agni-III ballistic missile with a
range of 3500 kms from the Wheeler Island off the coast of
Orissa, making the nuclear-capable platform ready for
induction into the armed forces.

"The fourth test-firing of the Agni-III missile was
carried out at 1050 hours today. It was for the full range and
it hit the target with pin-point accuracy and met all the
mission objectives," Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar
said here.

Two Navy ships located near the target tracked and
witnessed the missile hitting it accurately, he said.

During today`s launch, the missile was fired from a
mobile rail launcher, sources in Balasore said.

Defence Minister A K Antony congratulated DRDO chief V K
Saraswat and the scientists involved in the Agni-III project
on the "remarkable success" of the missile test.

The defence spokesman said the launch was part of the
pre-induction trial and "now the missile system will be fully
inducted into the armed forces."

A number of radars and electro-optical tracking systems
along the coast of Orissa monitored the path of the missile
and evaluated all the parameters in real-time, Kar said.

Equipped with a state-of-the-art advanced computer, the
navigation system used for guiding the missile to its target
is the "first of its kind", he said.

The high performance indigenous ring laser gyro-based
navigation system was a success, sources in Balasore said.

The 17-metre long marker pen like Agni-III is 2 metres in
diameter and has a two-stage solid propellant system with a
pay load capability of 1.5 tonnes.

"During the course of the flight, the missile reached a
peak height of 350 kms and re-entered the atmosphere
successfully tolerating the skin temperatures of nearly 3000
degree Celsius," Kar said.

The first trial of Agni-III was conducted on July 9, 2006
and it had ended in a failure. But the subsequent two tests on
April 12, 2007 and May 7, 2008 were successful.

Mission Director Avinash Chander and Project Director V G
Sekaran guided and controlled the complete missile integration
and launch activities and DRDO Chief Saraswat oversaw the
launch operations.