India test-fires nuke-capable Agni-I ballistic missile

India successfully tested nuclear capable surface-to-surface Agni I missile from a test range in Orissa.

Balasore: India on sunday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed, nuclear-capable, short range ballistic missile (SRBM) Agni-1 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here off the Orissa coast.

"It was a fantastic mission carried out by the Indian Army. The test-fire of the Agni-I missile met all parameters," director of ITR S P Dash told a news agency.

Blasted off from a rail mobile launcher, the surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, roared into the sky trailing behind a column of orange and white thick smoke at about 1305 hours.

"After piercing the sky, the missile re-entered the earth`s atmosphere and its dummy warhead impacted in the waters of the Bay of Bengal in the down range," a defence
official said from the launch site, adding that the guidance and re-entry system worked well.

User of the missile, the strategic force command of the Indian Army, executed the entire launch operation with the necessary logistic support being provided by the Defence
Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at the integrated test range (ITR).

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15 metre tall Agni-1, which can carry payloads weighing up to one tonne, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.

The Agni-1 has a range of upto 700 kms.

"The command chain has been validated. This is a major step in the preparedness of the Army in using this weapon system. We have reached the full range capability of the
missile," said a DRDO scientist.

The entire trajectory of today`s mission was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry and electro-optic systems and a naval ship anchored in the impact point.

The command, operation, integration, execution and networking for the launch was done by the Army.

India successfully test-fired two nuclear-capable medium-range ballistic missiles Prithvi-II and Dhanush in quick succession from different locations off the Orissa coast

Dhanush was test-fired from INS Subhadra, about 50 nautical miles from Puri, while Prithvi-11 was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the ITR.

Prithvi-II has a range of 295 km while Dhanush, the naval version of Prithvi, can cruise upto 350 km.

On March 22, the super-sonic cruise missile BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia, was successfully test-launched from INS Ranvir off the Orissa coast.