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Upgraded Agni fails maiden test

india Updated: Dec 11, 2010 01:59 IST
Priya Ranjan Sahu
Priya Ranjan Sahu
Hindustan Times
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The upgraded nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni failed in its maiden test on Friday.

The missile, fuelled by solid propelling chemicals, dropped in the Bay of Bengal a few seconds after it was launched at 10 am at the Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa, about 200 km east of Bhubaneswar.

This was a two-stage missile (called Agni-2-P). In such cases, the first stage is usually the largest. The upgraded Agni-2-P has a range of 2,500-3,000 km while for the normal Agni 2 range it is 2,000-2,500 km.

"The experimental launch of the Agni-2-P missile experienced a trajectory deviation immediately after the liftoff from the Wheeler Island, leading to the failure of the mission. Detailed analysis is in progress," said Sitansu Kar, additional director general and principal spokesperson of the ministry of defence.

Kar said that many new technologies were being tested in the mission. "Many of these new technologies have been proved."

The Agni missiles series, being developed by the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), acts as a deterrent against India's nuclear-armed neighbours and are among the country's most sophisticated weapons.