The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has successfully completed a test flight of the Agni-II surface-to-surface missile from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha as part of routine user trials.
During testing, the missile followed the prescribed trajectory and reached the pre-designated target point in the Bay of Bengal, following launch from Launch Complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).
A battery of advanced radar and telemetry stations located along the coastline, as well as two naval ships stationed near the target point, tracked the missile’s trajectory during terminal phase of the flight.
Conducted with assistance Agni-II manufacturer, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the test demonstrated normal functioning of all onboard systems, including propulsion, control, actuators, onboard computers, missile interface units and the navigation, guidance systems.
DRDO director general and Indian defence minister’s scientific advisor VK Saraswat was quoted by The Hindu as saying that successful flight test confirmed progress on the Agni series of missiles.
”We are on track," he said. "The country has complete control over the design, evaluation and testing of ballistic missiles.”
DRDO’s Advanced Systems Laboratory director VG Sekaran said that the missile was drawn from the production lot and delivered to SFC for testing.
”The user [the SFC] is totally confident of handling all the activities required for the launch," he said. "Their confidence shows that the systems are in place.”
Agni-II is 20m long, two-stage, solid-propelled medium range ballistic missile (MRBM), with a range of 2000km; it is capable of carrying nuclear warheads that are protected from intense heat when the missile re-enters the atmosphere using DRDO’s re-entry technology.
The missile underwent initial test flight in May 2009, and is currently operational with the Indian Army’s 335 Missile Group.
Image: Indian Army’s Agni-II ballistic missile on a road-mobile launcher, being displayed at 2004 Republic Day parade in New Delhi. Photo: courtesy of Antônio Milena (Abr).