Giving a fillip to its missile capability, India today successfully test fired the indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile with a strike range of 700 km as part of the Army’s user trial from a test range off Odisha coast.
“The trial of Agni-I missile conducted from the Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island was successful. It met the mission objectives,” ITR Director M V K V Prasad said.
The surface-to-surface single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test fired from a mobile launcher at about 10.10 AM from launch pad-4 of the ITR at Wheeler Island, about 100 KMs from here, a defence scientist said.
Describing the launch as a routine user’s trial by the strategic force command of the Indian Army, he said the main objective was to train the user team to launch the missile.
“It was a practice drill. The user-team picked a missile at random from the production lot and fired it with logistic support provided by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at ITR,” he said.
Agni-I has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy.
The trajectory of the missile, with an operational strike range of 700 km, was tracked by sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations located along the sea coast and ships positioned near the impact point in the downrange area.
Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which can carry payloads up to 1000 KG, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.
The last trial of the Agni-I missile was successfully carried out on December 1, 2011 from the same base.
Since the missile has already been inducted into the armed forces, it is important to conduct user trials to train defence personnel and improve their skills