Even as the defence authorities are tight-lipped on the reasons of the failure of surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile Agni-I night trial, sources attributed it to metallurgical malfunction and snags in the hydraulic system.
Sources said after an abortive mission on February 18, the 700-km range missile was to be test-fired from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast next evening. But the strategic forces command (SFC) was forced to postpone the test for indefinite period due to some technical glitches in the missile system.
Initially while it was learnt that the faults in ‘not-up-to-the-mark’ Indian inertial navigation system (INS) led to postponement of the first night user trial of the nuclear capable missile, a scientist associated with the mission pointed fingers at manufacturing faults in the missile.
Talking to ‘The Express’, he said manufacturing and metallurgical faults triggered hydraulics problems in the missile system thereby forcing the armed forces authorities to put off the trial only 18 seconds prior to the test schedule.
Hydraulics help open the wings and fins in the missile system. The wings and fins were not being opened that day. Sensing further trouble, the mission was postponed.
However, the scientists have been asked to rectify the faults and make the mission ready for trial within next one year.
“The armed forces would definitely not want to take further risk. The body of the missile has to be changed as the metallurgical malfunction could lead to another fiasco. Besides, the INS has also to be checked properly,” he added.
Meanwhile, the team Akash is readying for another trial of the surface-to-air missile on Monday. After the trial, three more would be carried out in next couple of weeks. Sources informed that the armed forces were preparing to go for a fresh trial of 2000-km range ballistic missile Agni-II in March second week.