Odisha Sun Times Bureau/IANS
Baleswar, Dec 2:
India today successfully carried out the first user trial of its surface-to-surface nuclear tipped intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) Agni-IV, which has a strike range of 4000 km, off the Odisha coast.
The missile, which can carry a one tonne nuclear warhead, was tested fired at 10.19 a.m. from a launch pad from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said .
“The test firing was successful. The missile crossed over more than 3,500 km,” Ravi Gupta, director (Public Interface) at DRDO, told IANS.
The two-stage, 17 tonne and 20-metre tall Agni-IV missile, is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, and a fifth generation on-board computer. It has the latest features to correct and guide itself through inflight disturbances.
Earlier, the missile was successfully test fired from the same test range on January 20 this year.
The trial is aimed at gauging the performance of its subsystems and checking the readiness of the armed forces to launch the missile on its own. The mission team, sources said, have worked minutely and meticulously to achieve success with high accuracy.
This indigenously developed state-of-the-art missile, the fourth in the Agni series of missiles, has completed all developmental trials successfully and is the most advanced long-range ballistic missile capable of being launched within minutes from a self-contained road mobile launcher.
Having a strike range of 4,000 km, the two-stage solid propelled missile’s can be launched from both rail and road mobile launchers, which gives it more flexibility and wide range of operational success.
Defence sources said Agni-IV is a modified version of the Agni-II strategic missile and was originally called Agni-II Prime whose test on December 10, 2010 had failed. The previous tests of Agni-IV were successful.
While Agni-II Prime had a strike range of 2,750 km having the capability of carrying 1000 kg payload, Agni-IV has a designed range of 4,000 km and can carry upto one tonne warhead with re-entry heat shield.