India on Tuesday successfully flight tested the indigenously developed 4000-km range nuclear capable intermediate ballistic missile (IRBM), Agni-IV, from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.
“It is a successful launch meeting all mission objectives,” MVKV Prasad, director of Integrated Test Range (ITR) of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at Chandipur in Balasore district, about 200 km east of Bhubaneswar.
Conducted by the Strategic Command Force (SCF) of the Indian Army, it was the first user trial of the surface to surface missile following the success of three consecutive development trials. The trial of the 'China-centric' missile was aimed at gauging the performance of its sub-system and checking the readiness of the armed forces to launch the missile on their own.
The successful trial has cleared the decks for its induction into the country’s strategic arsenal. Earlier on January 20, the third and last successful development trial of the missile was done from the same test range on January 20.
The 20-metre long, two-stage solid propelled missile weighing 17-tonne will arm India with the capability of delivering a one-tonne nuclear warhead to a range of 4,000 km. It will be India’s longest range missile as the 5,000 km range Agni-V is still undergoing trials and is likely to be inducted only by 2016.