Agni III missile

The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command has successfully test launched the nuclear-capable Agni-III surface-to-surface missile from Wheeler Island, off of the Odisha coast.

Fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR), the missile flew for 1,200 seconds and accurately homed onto the pre-designated target area in the Bay of Bengal.

The parameters and trajectory of the missile, which was randomly picked from the production lot, were tracked and monitored in real-time by radars located along the east coast, as well as by the telemetry and electro-optical systems.

In addtion, two down-range ships stationed near the impact point recorded the terminal event.

The latest user trial was conducted as part of regular training exercise for the Army, and was supported by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

"The trial was successful and met all the mission objectives."

An undisclosed defence scientist was quoted by Odisha Sun Times Bureau as saying: "The trial was successful and met all the mission objectives."

The trial comes a day after the Pakistani Army conducted training launch of its nuclear-capable Ghauri medium-range ballistic missile from Tilla Test Range in Jhelum District, Pakistan.

Developed by DRDO’s advanced systems laboratory as the successor to Agni-II missile, the Agni-III is a two-stage intermediate-range ballistic missile designed to intercept targets located at a distance of 3,500km to 5,000km.

Equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems, as well as advanced onboard computers, the 17m-tall missile is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing around 1.5t, with a circular error probable range of less than 40m.

Image: The Indian Army’s Agni-III nuclear capable missile being launched. Photo: courtesy of Anurag Pandit.