Sunday, November 27, 2011

Agni-IV nuclear capable missile successfully test fired

Making a quantum jump in its missile programme, India has successfully test-fired a highly advanced nuclear capable Agni-4 long range ballistic missile with a strike range of 3,000 km from an island off Odisha coast.

The missile is one of its kind of world class providing many new technologies for the first time and its range can be boosted up to 3500 km, Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta said.

Agni-4 missile system has opened a new era in the class of long range missile having capability to carry strategic warheads for the forces and has provided a 'fantastic deterrence' to the country, he said.

The missile was launched from a Road Mobile System at 0900 hours on Tuesday from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheelers Island, defence sources said adding it paved the way for early test launch of Agni-5.

"The trial was fully successful. All mission objectives were fully met. All the systems functioned perfectly till the end encountering the re-entry temperatures of more than 3000 degree C," Gupta said.

Agni-4 missile, hitherto known as Agni-II Prime, had a text book trajectory and reached a height of about 900 km and reached the pre-designated target in the international waters of Bay of Bengal, a DRDO scientist said.

It is lighter in weight and has two stages of solid propulsion and a payload with re-entry heat shield. The composite rocket motor was used for the first time and gave excellent performance.

It is 20 metres long with launch weight of 17 tonne. It can carry one tonne pay-load.

 "While the Agni-II missile has a strike range of 2000 km and Agni-III can hit a target at a distance of up to 3500 km, this new Agni-IV missile would bridge the gap," defence sources said.

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