|Indian Agni-I ballistic missile|
India on Friday successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile, with a strike range of 700 km, as part of the army’s user trial from a test range at Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at about 1010 hrs from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from here.
“The trial of the sophisticated missile with a strike range of 700 km was successful,” the Indian media quoting a defence scientist reported. Describing the launch as a routine user’s trial by the strategic force command of the Indian army, he said the main objective was to train the user team to launch the missile. “It was a practice-drill. The user-team picked a missile at random from the production lot and fired it with logistic support provided by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR,” he said.
Agni-I missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision, he said. The trajectory of the missile, which has an operational strike range of 700 km, was tracked by sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations located along the sea coast and ships positioned near the impact point in the downrange area. Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which can carry payloads up to 1000 kg, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.