Nuke capable Agni-II test-fired successfully
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Last Updated: Monday, May 17, 2010, 23:54
Balasore (Orissa): After two successive setbacks, India's nuclear capable Agni-II missile, with a range of 2000 kms, was Monday successfully test-fired during a user trial by the Army from the Wheelers Island off the Orissa coast.

"The trial of the missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) was successful and met all parameters and mission objectives," ITR Director S P Dash said.

The sleek surface-to-surface Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile was launched at around 0915 hours from a rail mobile system in Launch Complex-4 of ITR.

The trajectory of the missile, which has a payload capacity of 1000 kg, was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships stationed near the impact point in the Bay of Bengal, defence sources said.

The launch was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Army with logistic support from laboratories and personnel of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), they said.

Data generated during the test-fire was being analysed, they said.

The successful launch followed two earlier user trials on May 19, 2009 and the night of November 23, 2009 which could not meet all mission parameters.

The 20-metre long Agni-II, which has been inducted into the services, is a two-stage, solid-propelled ballistic missile with a launch weight of 17 tonnes.

A DRDO scientist said it was a training exercise to familiarise the end-users with different operational conditions.

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

The missile is part of the Agni series which includes Agni-I with a 700 km range and Agni-III with a 3,500 km range, they said, adding that Agni-I has already been inducted and Agni-III is in the process of induction.

The first trial of Agni-II was carried out on April 11, 1999.

Shortly after the launch, Defence Minister AK Antony congratulated the DRDO and its scientists for the successful trial of the nuclear-capable missile.

In a message, Antony conveyed his appreciation for the contribution of DRDO scientists in making the endeavour a success. He also spoke to DRDO chief VK Saraswat over phone, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said here.

Saraswat and Agni Programme Director Avinash Chander were present at the Wheelers Island during the test-firing.

"All mission objectives have been met. With this launch, the Strategic Forces have carried out launch of all three versions of Agni within three months demonstrating their capability," the spokesperson said.


First Published: Monday, May 17, 2010, 23:54

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