The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) is all set to conduct the night trial of the Agni-I surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile on 18 February 2014 from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.
The evening trial of the 700-km plus range missile in its operational configuration is due to be carried out between 7pm and 8pm with the support of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Citing an Indian Defence official, ‘The New Indian Express’ reported that the missile can be fired according to schedule if there’s a dry weather throughout Tuesday.
"We are ready and the missile has already been integrated," the official added.
"While the range integration has been finished, the tracking systems have been put on place. The mission depends on the favourable weather condition."
According to defence sources, there have been significant enhancements in the re-entry technology and manoeuvrability since the missile’s initial trial in January 2002. The upcoming trial will reconfirm the technical parameters set for the army.
The latest trial also marks the limited stock production (LSP) series test of Agni-I, which is designed to bridge the gap between the indigenously built short-range Prithvi and medium-range Agni-II.
Weighing around 12t, the 15m-long missile is powered by both solid and liquid propellants and can carry a combined conventional and nuclear payload of nearly one tonne.