The Indian Army‘s strategic forces command (SFC) has successfully carried out a new user trial of the nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile from the launch complex-IV of the integrated test range (ITR) at Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast, India.
Carried out with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the testing used a randomly selected a missile from the production lot, and was aimed at reconfirming the technical parametres set for the army.
A senior DRDO official was quoted by The Hindu as saying the solid propellant-powered missile was launched from a road mobile launcher, and landed near the pre-designated target in the Bay of Bengal with a double-digit accuracy, following a ten-minute flight.
An onboard computer and the inertial navigation system (INS) guided the missile to its target, while advanced radar and telemetry stations located along the coastline, alongside a down-range ship stationed near the target point, tracked the missile’s trajectory during the terminal phase of the flight, according to the news agency.
Commenting on launch, ITR director MVKV Prasad said: "The test-fire of the ballistic missile was fully successful."
Developed by the DRDO under the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), the Agni-I is a 15m-long medium to intercontinental range ballistic missile (IRBM), capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear payloads at a speed of 2.5km/sec.
Having a payload capacity of up to one tonne, the single-stage, road and rail mobile, Agni-1 has a range of 700km and also features a specialised navigation system, which helps the missile to reach target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
Designed to bridge the gap between the short-range Prithvi and medium-range Agni II missiles, the weapon has already been inducted by the Indian Army.
Image: The Agni-I ballistic missile lifts off from a test range at Wheeler Island, Odisha coast, India. Photo: courtesy of DRDO.