The first night trial of the nuclear-capable Agni-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile was carried out from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range at the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast on Saturday, Defence sources said.
The trajectory of the missile is being monitored and the outcome of the trial is awaited, the sources said.
The flight test of the intermediate-range missile, which has a strike range of over 3,500 km, was part of a user trial by the Army, the sources said. The missile, which has a length of 17 m, a diameter of 2 m and launch weight of around 50 tonnes, has been already inducted into the armed forces, the Defence sources said.
The trial was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at launch complex-4 of the ITR at about 1920 hrs, the sources said.
"It was the fourth user trial in the Agni-III series carried out to establish the repeatability of the missile's performance. For the first time the test was conducted during night time," a DRDO source said. It is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system and is capable of carrying a warhead of 1.5 tonnes which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield, they said. Agni-III is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computer. The electronic systems are hardened for higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects, a DRDO scientist said.