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India to test fire Agni-III early next year

This comes as as defence scientists make a bid to wash out failures which plagued missile programme in 2006.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2006 12:30 IST

India is planning to test fire again the country's most potent missile 3,000 kms range surface to surface Agni-III early in the new year as Defence scientists make a bid to wash out failures which plagued missile programme in 2006.

The maiden trial of Agni-III, which was to incorporate many advanced technologies conducted in July 2006, was a dismal failure as the missile crashed into sea just seconds after blast off from the Interim Test Range in Balasore in Orissa.

After undertaking a minute review of the causes of failure of the maiden test flight of Agni-III, DRDO has now planned a re-trial of missile any time during January or early February, Defence Ministry officials said.

For the defence scientists, Agni-III was not the only failure as Surface to Air Akash and Anti-Tank Nag missiles failed to keep deadlines for user trials and the Trishul missile, in which the DRDO saw potential of turning it into a multi-purpose interceptor, faced near closure.

The failure of the Agni-III was a major dampner to defence scientists as it came even as Pakistan went ahead with a series of successful missile tests of its clandestinely acquired Hatf, Gauri and Shaheen range of missiles in 2006.

It also marked a low point for the missile and defence scientists as it compounded delays and snags in the country's other strategic programmes in the year gone by.

Country's much touted indegenous Main Battle Tank Arjun remained to be certified for production by the Main user army.

As was the country's indegenous programme to develop the Light Combat Aircraft.

LCA christened Tejas is yet to be mounted with weapons, avionics and electronic measures, though its certification date nears.

First Published: Dec 28, 2006 12:04 IST