BHUBANESWAR: The Indian Army on Tuesday successfully conducted a user trial of the Agni-I, a surface-to-surface medium-range ballistic missile [MRBM] developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO].
The nuclear-capable missile took off from launch complex-IV [LC-IV] on Abdul Kalam Island where the DRDO's Integrated Test Range [ITR] is located off the Odisha coast.
Officials said the missile met its mission objectives. After vertical lift-off, it following a pre-coordinated trajectory over the Bay of Bengal and reached its target, tracked all along by ground radars and telemetry stations and by two naval ships stationed near the target.
A senior defence official said today's test was a user trial by the Strategic Forces Command [SFC] of the armed forces. The missile used for the test today was randomly picked up from DRDO's production lot.
“The test was meant to reconfirm the technical parameters set for the the Indian Army,” the defence official said.
The test followed the success of two trials of the Prithvi-II missile on Monday.
Agni-I has a strike range of 700 km. Compared to its longer-range cousins Agni-II, Agni-III, Agni-IV and Agni-V, it is shorter at just 15 m and weighs less with a diameter of 1 m. Its weapon system is powered by both solid and liquid propellant, which imparts it a speed of 2.5 km per second.
According defence sources, Agni-I can be fired from both road and rail mobile launchers at short notice. The missile weighs around 12 tonnes and can carry both conventional and nuclear payload of about 1000 kg. Agni-I was first test-fired in 1991.
Agni-I has been developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory [ASL], the premier missile development lab of the DRDO in collaboration with the Defence Research Development Laboratory [DRDL], Research Centre Imarat [RCI] and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.
The test was witnessed army officials and DRDO scientists. Prior to the test, armed security personnel in power boats were engaged to patrol around the Abdul Kalam Island and fishermen were warned not to venture into the sea. Heavy security arrangements were made along the sea coast.