Agni - III missile successfully test fired
Md Mudassir Alam, 07 May 2008, Wednesday
India has always prioritised on its defence mechanism. Recently, Agni-III missile was successfully tested. This missile has a capacity of 3,500 - 5,000 km range. Soon the Indian defence will also be launching Agni-IV.
WEDNESDAY MORNING, India successfully test fired the 3,500 km range Agni- III missile from Wheelerâ€™s Island at Balasore, off the Orissa coast. Agni â€“ III missile was test-fired through a mobile launcher from the integrated test range launch complex at about 09:56 Indian Standard Time (IST). Indiaâ€™s most powerful nuclear capable of intermediate rage ballistic missile (IRBM), Agni â€“ III is a surface-to-surface missile. Agni â€“ III missile weighs 48 tonnes and is 16 metre long, 1.8 metre wide and has the capacity to carry a payload of 1.5 tonnes.
Developed indigenously, the two stage, all-solid fuel missile is capable of reaching the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai. Agni â€“ III missile is equipped with an on-board computer that will work as its guidance system. Besides two naval warships anchored near the impact point, the whole trajectory in the test launch was monitored by a battery of sophisticated radars, electro-optic tracking systems and telemetric data centres in the mainland. According to sources, the test results will be known only after the detailed analyses of the flight data, after it is recovered.
Developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), the Agni missiles is a range of short to intermediate range ballistic missiles. Agni missiles range includes Agni-I short range ballistic missile (700- 800 km range), Agni-II medium range ballistic missile (2,500 km range) and Agni-III intermediate range ballistic missile (3,500- 5,000 km range). Among the Agni missiles range, Agni â€“ III is Indiaâ€™s first solid fuel missile, which is compact and small in size for easy mobility. Agni â€“ III can be easily packaged for deployment on varied surfaces and sub-surface platforms.
Prior to Wednesdayâ€™s launch, Agni â€“ III missile was first test-fired on July 9, 2006, from Wheeler Island, off the coast of Orissa, but the test failed to meet mission parameters. It was reported that after the launch, in the second stage the rocket had failed to separate owing to which the missile fell short of its target. But in April 7, 2007, the Agni â€“ III missile was successfully test fired from the the Wheeler Island again. After the successful launch of Agni â€“ III missile last year, India entered the worldâ€™s select group of countries to field missiles of intercontinental reach.
As per Defence Research and Development Organisation ( DRDO) sources, though defence scientists had planned only three tests of the missile before its induction, more tests are required to prove its robustness due to the failure of the first test flight.
Ironically, Agni missiles range also includes the intercontinental ballistic missile. Defence scientists are working on Agni-IV intercontinental ballistic missile, which is supposed to have 6,000 km range. First trial of Agni â€“ IV missile is expected to be held later this year or in the earlier part of 2009.
BR's missile page is making impact. Many of the above statement are lifted straight or rephrased from BR website or the my articles in Indian Defense Review.