Nuclear-capable Agni-III missile test-fired
India on Sunday morning successfully test-fired its sophisticated nuclear capable Agni III ballistic missile.
The indigenously built surface to surface missile was test-fired from the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) run missile testing centre located at the Wheelers Island off the coast of Orissa’s Bhadrak district at 10.43 am.
“Preliminary studies indicated that the missile had a smooth launch and hit its target successfully. It fulfiled all the parameters,” sources in the missile testing centre said.
Often described as India’s China specific missile, Agni III has a capability to hit a target at a distance of 3,000 to 3,500 km carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads up to 1.5 tonnes.
The 17-metre-long prestigious missile had its maiden test firing from the Wheelers Island in July 2006, which had turned out to be a failure. However, two subsequent test launch of the missile in April 2007 and in May 2008 were successful.
The missile had its fourth test launch on Sunday. The entire path of the missile was monitored by Naval ships anchored in the Bay of Bengal.
Fishermen in Bhadrak as well as in the neighbouring district of Balasore were advised not to venture into the sea during the test firing of the missile for safety reasons. The help of civil administration of both the districts was taken in this regard.
The first two of the Agni series of missiles—Agni I and Agni II — have already been inducted into the Indian armed forces. While Agni I is having a target of 750-800 km, Agni II can hit a target at a distance of 1,500 km.