Strategic Forces Command (SFC), a special wing of Indian Armed forces conducted a user specific trial of 2000 km plus range nuke capable Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) Agni-II from a defence base off the Odisha coast on Sunday.
Defence sources said the indigenously built missile was successfully test fired from the launching complex –IV of Wheeler Island, a part of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 10.22 am.
The successful launch, conducted with logistic support provided by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), once again proved the reliability of medium range surface to surface missiles.
Chief Controller (Missiles and Strategic Systems) of DRDO and Agni Programme Director Avinash Chander said already inducted and a part of country’s arsenal for strategic deterrence, Agni-II was launched as a training exercise by the armed forces.
“The test was smooth and perfect. The missile behaved as expected and covered desired range as coordinated. It has met all mission objectives. All the radar and telemetry systems tracked and monitored all parameters throughout the trajectory. Two ships located near the target point have tracked the missile in the final stage. It was a fantastic mission accomplished,” he told ‘The New Indian Express’.
The two stage missile equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system, guided by a novel scheme of state of the art command and control system was propelled by solid rocket propellant system. The missile, which has a length of 21 meters and a diameter of 1.3 meter, weighs around 17 tonnes.
An SFC spokesman said, the flight, most importantly, conveyed their preparedness to meet any eventuality. The mission fully validated the operational readiness and also the reliability of the missile system, he stated in a release.
Agni-II is one of the key weapon systems of the country's nuclear deterrence doctrine. It was first test fired in 1999 from the same location and inducted in 2004. The missile takes only 15 minutes to be readied for firing. Along with Agni-II, 700 km range Agni-I and 3000 km range Agni-III have already been inducted in the armed forces.
However, after the successful test of Agni-II missile, Indian defence scientists are now eyeing for second experimental test of the country’s longest range nuclear tipped missile Agni-V in June. Its first test on April 19, last year was a huge success.
The DRDO is also planning to conduct the second trial of Nirbhay cruise missile within next couple of months. The maiden trial of the missile was a failure last month. Besides, a few more user tests of Agni-III, Agni-I, Prithvi-II, Akash and developmental trials of Prahar, Astra and Helicopter-mounted Nag (HELINA) missiles have been planned in coming months.
DRDO Chief V K Saraswat has congratulated all the defence scientists and personnel of the armed forces for the successful mission.