BALASORE: The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army is all set to conduct a fresh user trial of 3,000 km range nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-III in full operational configuration from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Thursday.
Defence sources said the test will be carried out from launching complex - IV of Wheeler Island for which range integration has been completed and the missile integrated with the launcher. The weapon system would be made vertical prior to the test that would be conducted after a special puja at the test range.
“The missile and the mission team are ready. If everything goes as per the plan and programme, the missile with a dummy payload will be fired according to schedule. The test aims at establishing the weapon system’s reliability and demonstrating its robustness,” said a defence official.
This would be second test by the SFC team this month after the successful trial of Dhanush missile, the Navy version of Prithvi ballistic missile, from a warship in Bay of Bengal on April 9. The mission team, sources said, has worked meticulously to achieve success with high accuracy during the third user trial of the missile.
Agni-III is capable of carrying out a variety of warheads, including nuclear warheads and can be launched from various platforms giving the country intermediate range ballistic missile firepower besides extending its power projection in the South East Asia region.
Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missile was inducted in the armed forces in June 2011.
The missile has two stages which are powered by solid propellants and can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes and target parts of China.
A cautionary notice has been issued to aviators and mariners to keep away from the area of splashdown in the Bay of Bengal while patrolling has been intensified in and around the test range prior to the test.