The Indian Army on Tuesday successfully test-fired surface-to-surface nuclear capable Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-II in full operational configuration from a defence base off Odisha coast.
Defence sources said the weapon system with a dummy payload blasted off from a mobile launcher at the launching complex-IV of the Abdul Kalam Island at about 8.40 am leaving behind a chain of thick smokes.
This was third successful trial of an Agni series missile in the last one month. While 5,000-km Agni-V was test fired on January 18, a user trial of 700-km range Agni-I was conducted on February 6.
The 2,000 km range Agni-II missile, already inducted and part of the country’s arsenal for strategic deterrence, was launched as a training exercise by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the army.
The missile equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system, guided by a novel scheme of state of the earth command and control system was propelled by solid rocket propellant system.
A defence official said the missile travelled along the intended flight path before reaching the point of impact with a few meter accuracy, meeting all mission parameters as coordinated.
“The successful launch has once again proved reliability of the medium range missile. Radar, telemetry systems, electro-optical tracking stations tracked and monitored the mission parameters throughout the trajectory. The mission was highly successful and flawless,” he said.
All the systems, propulsion, control, actuators, on-board computers, missile interface units and the navigation, guidance systems functioned fully to perfection and ensured the vehicle reached the target within double digit accuracy.
The launch operations were carried out by SFC while the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) provided all logistic supports.
The first prototype of an operational variant of the Agni-II was tested on April 11, 1999. The missile can be fitted with 150 kilo tonne yield nuclear warheads, in addition to chemical, high explosive and sub-munitions versions.
The two-stage, 21-metre long missile having a diameter of 1.3 meter weighs around 16 tonne. It can carry a payload of around 1,000 kg and its range can be increased to 3,000 km by reducing the weight of the payload.
Range – 2,000 km
Weight – 16,000
Length – 21 m
Diameter – 1.3 m
Warhead – 1,000 kg
Engine – Two stage solid propellant
Speed – 3.9 km/sec