The Indian Army has successfully conducted the first user trial of the Agni-IV surface-to-surface, nuclear-capable intermediate range ballistic missile, from Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast, India.

During the trial, undertaken by the army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC), the missile carried a 1t dummy warhead and splashed down near its pre-designated target point in the Indian Ocean with a high degree of accuracy, The Hindu reported.

The re-entry vehicle’s heat shield offered resistance against temperatures above 3,000°C and its advanced ring laser gyros-based navigation system and avionics guided it towards the target point.

"The test firing was successful. The missile crossed over more than 3,500km."

The missile and other parameters were tracked and monitored by a network of radar and telemetry stations and electro-optical systems along the East Coast. The final event was recorded by two nearby naval ships.

Defence Research and Development Organisation Public Interface director Ravi Gupta was quoted by the Indo-Asian News Service as saying: "The test firing was successful. The missile crossed over more than 3,500km."

Weighing 17t, the Agni-IV missile is equipped with advanced avionics, including a fifth-generation computer and distributed architecture, as well as the latest features to correct and guide itself during in-flight disturbances.

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Capable of carrying a 1t warhead, it has a micro navigation system and is claimed to be the most advanced long-range ballistic missile that is capable of launching within minutes from a self-contained road mobile launcher.

A modified version of the Agni-II, the missile has successfully completed three consecutive developmental tests, in November 2011, September 2012 and January 2014.

It will be inducted into the army following the completion of additional trials by SFC personnel in the coming weeks.

Defence Technology