The Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army has carried out the first night trial of the nuclear-capable Agni-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha state.

The trial was carried out from a mobile launcher at launch complex-4 of the ITR with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

According to the NDTV, defence sources said that the outcome of the trial is pending.

The intermediate-range missile has a strike range of more than 3,500km and the flight test is part of a user trial by the army, the report stated.

Agni-III missile with a length of 17m, a diameter of 2m and a launch weight of around 50t has been already inducted into the armed forces, the report stated.

The NDTV report quoted a DRDO source as saying: “It was the fourth user trial in the Agni-III series carried out to establish the repeatability of the missile’s performance. For the first time, the test was conducted during night time.”

Powered by a two-stage solid propellant system, the nuclear-capable Agni-III missile is capable of carrying a 1.5t warhead, which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield.

The missile is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems, as well as an advanced on-board computer.

A DRDO scientist told NDTV that the electronic systems are designed to withstand higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects.

Agni-III, the third in the Agni series of missiles, was first tested on 9 July 2006 from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha, but the launch reportedly failed. It was again tested from Wheeler Island on 12 April 2007, which was successful. On 7 May 2008, India again successfully test-fired the missile.

The missile’s circular error probable (CEP) is in the range of 40m, making Agni-III the most accurate strategic ballistic missile of its range class in the world.