India successfully test-fired nuclear weapons capable strategic ballistic missile, Agni-II, for its full range of more than 2,000 km from Wheeler Island off the Odisha Coast on Thursday.
The launch was carried out by Strategic Force Command personnel from a mobile launcher. The Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, which carried a dummy payload of 1,000 kg, was fired at 8.46 a.m. from a rail mobile launcher. Agni-II has already been inducted into the services and belongs to the group of Agni class of strategic missiles which form the bulwark of India”s nuclear deterrence policy.
Top Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials told The Hindu from Wheeler Island that the two-stage solid-propelled missile followed a text-book trajectory and zeroed in on to a pre-determined target point in the Bay of Bengal with a single to two digit accuracy after a 700-second flight.
They said the re-entry systems worked well and all other systems functioned perfectly.The electro-optical systems and telemetry stations tracked and monitored the missile’s flight path. Two ships stationed in the vicinity of the target point witnessed the terminal event.
The SFC personnel conducted the trial as part of regular user exercise. Agni-II is 20 metres long and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead weighing one ton.
It was the third success in a row for Agni variants following the launch of Agni-V in April and Agni-1 recently.
Scientific advisor to Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat, DRDO’s Chief Contoller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) Avinash Chander and Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory V.G.Sekaran said the success of the missile showed the repeatability, reliability and robustness of Agni-II missile.
They said that it also showed the preparedness of Armed Forces to launch such ballistic missiles on their own with the tapering off support from DRDO. It also confirmed that the production system has been completely established.
Associate Director, Research Centre Imarat, G.Satheesh Reddy said the entire avionics system in the missile worked to full capability in taking the missile to its pre-designated target. These included on-board computers, missile interface unit and navigation systems. RCI Director, S.K.Chaudhuri was also present.