The Indian Army has planned to conduct flight tests of two Agni variant missiles from the missile testing range off the Orissa coast in the next 45 days. These tests are aimed at gauging the effectiveness of the weapons and their performance in real time situation. Defence sources said the missiles to be testfired are 700km range Agni-I and 2,000km
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC), a contingent specially raised to carry out the user specific tests of the missiles developed by DRDO, will conduct the tests. Both the missiles have been inducted in the Army.The missiles will be launched from the launching complexIV of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) with the logistic support from the DRDO scientists and technical officers. While AgniII has been planned to be tested in the last week of August, the test of AgniI is scheduled for third week of September.
A defence official said as the missiles have been handed over to the Army for its use during the time of crisis, the military personnel through these userspecific trials get to know how to use the weapon and its capability. Preparation for the tests will soon start at the LCIV in the Wheeler's Island off the Dhamra coast in Bhadrak district. After both the trials, the DRDO has planned to go for the maiden test of 5,000 km range AgniV missile, considered India's first InterContinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Though the missile which has the capability to reach most of the Chinese cities is ready for test, the DRDO is reportedly waiting for the State Government's nod. AgniI missile weighs around 12 tonnes and can carry both conventional and nuclear payload of about 1,000 kg. It is powered by both solid and liquid propellants, which imparts it a speed of 2.5 km a second. The missile can blast off from both road and rail mobile launchers.Similarly, AgniII missile is about 21 metres tall having a diameter of one metre and weighs 17 tonnes. It can carry a payload (both conventional and nuclear) of around one tonne. The twostage solidpropelled AgniII is one of the key weapon systems of the country's nuclear deterrence doctrine.
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