India successfully test Agni-III missile
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Last Updated: Monday, February 08, 2010, 00:01
  
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.

PTI


First Published: Monday, February 08, 2010, 00:01


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