Trial of upgraded Agni-II missile fails

A test-fire of an upgraded Agni-II nuclear-capable intermediate range ballistic missile failed.

Updated: Dec 10, 2010, 17:15 PM IST

Balasore (Orissa): A test-fire of an
upgraded Agni-II nuclear-capable intermediate range ballistic
missile from Wheeler Island off Orissa coast failed on Friday with
the weapon system deviating from its trajectory immediately
after lift off.

"Experimental launch of Agni-II missile experienced a
trajectory deviation immediately after the lift off resulting
in failure of the mission," a DRDO spokesman said in New
Delhi.
He said, "Detailed analysis is in progress".

DRDO sources said in Balasore, "The trial of the
surface-to-surface missile, launched from a rail mobile
launcher from the launch pad-4 of Integrated Test Range around
1000 hours, was not successful".

Scientists and experts were trying to ascertain the
cause of the outcome by analysing different aspects, they
said, declining to share detailed information.

Though ITR officials were tight-lipped about the
trial, eye-witnesses said the missile fell into the sea around
30 seconds after it took off in inclement weather marked by
intermittent rains and chilly winds.

The indigenously developed upgraded and new variant of
`Agni` series missile was said to be the improved version of
the country’s existing `Agni-II` missile.

A DRDO scientist said, "The modified version of
Agni-II would have better accuracy and range."

"While the present Agni-II missile has a strike range
of 2000 km and Agni-III can target a distance of up to 3500
km, the new variant, being christened as `Agni-II plus or
premier`, would bridge the gap between Agni-II and Agni-III,"
a defence source said.

In terms of accuracy "some more improved features had
been incorporated to it," the source said.
India first tested the Agni-II on April 11, 1999 from
Wheeler Island, about 100 kms from here. After its second
flight test on January 17, 2001, the two-stage solid
propellant missile was cleared for production.

On May 19, 2009, the Indian Army conducted the user
trial of Agni-II. However, it ended in a failure.

In a subsequent trial, conducted on November 24, 2009,
the missile once again failed. After two successive failures,
the flight test by the Indian Army carried out on May 17,
2010, was a success.

Agni-III was first flight tested on July 9, 2006, from
the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast, but it was unsuccessful.
However, the trials on April 12, 2007 and May 7, 2008 were
successful and met all parameters.

For the fourth time, the sleek missile was tested on
February 7, 2010 and proved the weapon system`s robustness and
accuracy by a hat-trick of successful performances.

The two-stage solid-fuel missile, meant for the
country’s strategic nuclear deterrence, is now ready for
induction.

PTI

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