India test launches Agni-IV nuclear missile

20 January 2014 (Last Updated January 20th, 2014 18:30)

India has successfully test-launched the 4000km-range nuclear capable ballistic missile, Agni-IV, from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha, India.

Agni-IV missile

India has successfully test-launched the 4000km-range nuclear capable ballistic missile, Agni-IV, from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha, India.

Launched from a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)-developed road mobile launcher, the composite solid fuel rocket motor technology-propelled missile hit the target with two digit accuracy, meeting all mission objectives and proving its capabilities.

The test firing represents the missile's third consecutively successful trialand the last one in the series of development launches.

An array of long-range radars and electro-optical tracking systems (EOTS) located along the coast tracked and monitored all the parametres throughout the flight, while two ships located near the target point tracked the vehicle and witnessed the final event.

DRDO DG and Indian Defence Minister scientific advisor Avinash Chander said the launch is of greater significance as the system was tested in its deliverable configuration with the active participation of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) personnel.

''The missile is now ready for induction and its serial production will now begin,'' Chander said.

"Today's launch takes India's level of deterrence and its preparedness and effectiveness to newer heights."

''Today's launch takes India's level of deterrence and its preparedness and effectiveness to newer heights.''

Weighing 17t, the Agni-IV is the fourth in the Agni series of missiles, and is equipped with advanced avionics, including fifth-generation on board computer and distributed architecture, and latest features to correct and guide itself for inflight disturbances.

Capable of carrying a 1t warhead, the missile also features very high accuracy ring laser gyro based inertial navigation system (RINS), micro navigation system (MINGS), which ensured the vehicle reach the target within two digit accuracy, as well as a digital controller system and re-entry heat shield.

The first two Agni-IV developmental launches were conducted from the same location in November 2011 and September 2012, respectively.


Image: the Agni-IV missile launches from Wheeler's Island, Odisha, in September 2012. Photo: courtesy of Press Information Bureau, Government of India.

Defence Technology