India on Thursday successfully test fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 3,000 km from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.
The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile was test fired from a mobile launcher at launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island by army at about 0955 hrs, defence sources said.
“The trial, carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC of the Indian Army), was fully successful,” ITR Director M V K V Prasad told PTI.
Logistic support for the test was provided by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). “It was the third user trial in the Agni-III series carried out to establish the ‘repeatability’ of the missile’s performance,” a DRDO official said.
For data analyses, the entire trajectory of today’s trial was monitored through various telemetry stations, electro-
optic systems and sophisticated radars located along the coast and by naval ships anchored near the impact point, the sources said.
The Agni-III missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system. With a length of 17 metres, the missile’s diameter is 2 metres and launch weight is around 50 tonnes.
It can carry a warhead of 1.5 tonne which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield.
The sleek missile, already inducted into the armed forces, is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on board computer.
The electronic systems connected with the missile are hardened for higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects, a DRDO scientist said.
Though the first developmental trial of Agni-III carried out on July 9, 2006 could not provide desired result,
subsequent tests on April 12, 2007, May 7, 2008, February 7, 2010 as well as the first user trial on September 21, 2012 and next on December 23, 2013 from the same base were all successful.