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Agni-II missile test-fired off Orissa coast

India's nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface Agni-II ballistic missile, with a strike range of 2000 kms, was today test-fired as part of user trial by the army from the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast.

india Updated: Sep 30, 2011 17:38 IST
Priya Ranjan Sahu
Priya Ranjan Sahu
Hindustan Times
Priya Ranjan Sahu,Agni-II,Orissa coast
Agni-II-missile-the-pride-of-India-s-strategic-arsenal-being-successfully-launched-from-the-Wheeler-Island-off-Orissa-Coast

India on Friday successfully test fired indigenously developed intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), Agni II, from the Wheeler Island, off the coast of Orissa, about 200 km from Bhubaneswar.

“The launch was a hattrick after successful launches of Shourya and Prithvi II on September 24 and September 26 respectively. The successful launch once again proved reliability of the medium range surface to surface missile,” said Ravi Kumar Gupta, scientist and director, directorate of public interface, Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).

The test of the missile, earlier scheduled to be held on August 29, had been aborted due to last minute technical snag.

The 2000-km range surface to surface missile, already inducted and part of India’s arsenal for strategic deterrent, was launched as a trainer exercise by the armed forces. The two stage missile equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system, guided by a novel scheme of state of the art command and control system was propelled by solid rocket propellant system.

“The missile reached the peak altitude of 220 km and hit the target. All the radar, telemetry system, ectopic system tracked and monitored all parameters throughout the trajectory,” Gupta said.

The surface-to-surface missile can carry a nuclear payload of 1000 kg. The range of the 20-metre long missile weighing 17 tonnes can also be increased to 3000 km by reducing the payload.

Agni missile series being developed by DRDO as a deterrent against nuclear armed neighbours are among India’s most sophisticated weapons.

India had successfully test-fired a variation of Agni II in May last year after two successive failures of similar tests. However, in December last year, an upgraded two-stage missile, Agni II-P, had failed in its maiden test.

First Published: Sep 30, 2011 10:22 IST