Indian Army conducts new Agni-I user trial

7 November 2013 (Last Updated November 7th, 2013 18:30)

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.

Agni-I missile

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.

"It landed near the pre-designated target in the Bay of Bengal with a double-digit accuracy, following a ten-minute flight."

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.

Defence Technology