India to test fire Agni-III missile on Thursday
The country's most powerful nuclear-capable Agni-III missile will be test-fired from the Interim Test Range at Balasore in Orissa.india Updated: Apr 11, 2007 20:05 IST
Nine months after its first launch faiiled, the country's most powerful nuclear-capable Agni-III missile will be test-fired from the Interim Test Range at Balasore in Orissa on Thursday.
"The missile has been re-configured and would be test launched tomorrow morning", top Defence Ministry officials said.
This will be the second launch of the 3,000-km range missile after an unsuccessful test on July 9 last year from the integrated test range.
If successfully test-fired, Agni-III will become the missile with the longest reach in South Asia and more powerful than any missile in Pakistan's arsenal.
However, China has missiles with a longer reach than Agni-III.
Though DRDO scientists put the range of Agni-III at 3,000 km, defence experts say the solid-fuel propelled missile's range could be extended up to almost 5,000 km.
Defence scientists traced the failure of the test to a defective shield which was unable to withstand the heat generated due to friction during the flight.
They devised a flexible heat shield for the missile without changing its other parameters. The 16-metre Agni-III weighs 48 tonnes and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.