Agni II test-fired

Agni II test-fired

India on Thursday morning successfully test-fired the nuclear capable Agni II ballistic missile from a Defence Research and Development Organisation- (DRDO) run missile testing centre located at the Wheelers Island off the coast of Bhadrak district in north Odisha.

Sources in the Bhadrak district administration said the 20-metre long sleek surface-to-surface medium range missile was test-launched at 8:48 am from a mobile launcher parked on launch pad number four of the premier missile testing centre.

Describing the test as a “user trial”, DRDO sources said all mission objectives were achieved during the test launch of the missile which had already been introduced in the Indian armed forces after several successful trials earlier.

Thursday’s test launch was carried out by the strategic unified command of the Indian army with assistance from the DRDO. Several DRDO scientists as well as senior officials from the Union Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces were present.

The Agni II missile — which has a capability to hit a target at a distance of 2,000 to 3,000 kilometres carrying both conventional as well as nuclear warheads up to one tonne — had its first successful flight in April, 1999. If DRDO sources are to be believed, the next in line for test launch is Agni IV. The user trial of the missile is expected to be conducted from the same Odisha facility in the first week of September.

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