BHUBANESWAR: Amidst heightened tension along the LoC after Pakistan army from PoK mutilated bodies of Indian soldiers in Kashmir, India on Thursday successfully launched nuclear capable Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-II, which can ‘kill’ targets more than 2,000 km away.
Defence sources said the indigenously developed missile mounted on a mobile launcher was fired from launching complex-IV of Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast at about 10.25 am.
The trial was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of Indian Army in full operational configuration as part of user training exercise, a day after western command of the armed forces
successfully test fired land attack variant of supersonic cruise missile BrahMos.
The test was aimed at providing the Army requisite confidence to fire the surface-to-surface missile and check its operational readiness. “The missile was successfully launched,” said a defence official.
The two-stage solid propelled Agni-II is one of the key weapon systems of the country's nuclear deterrence doctrine and had already been inducted into the armed forces since 2004.
Both stages of the missile have a solid propulsion system, which allows the missile to be mobile and flexible. It is 21 metres tall and is capable of carrying a payload of one tonne. It has appropriate on-board thrusters fitted on the second stage.
The Agni-II is designed to be launched from a rail-mobile launcher and it is also available in road-mobile
configuration. This lends flexibility to the weapon system and reduces vulnerability to first strike.
This was third test in the ambitious Agni series of missiles this year. Earlier, while 4,000-km range nuke-capable IRBM Agni-IV was successfully flight tested on January 2, a user trial of its sibling 3,000-km range Agni-III from the same test range was a grand success on April 27.
Agni-II forms the triad of the country’s minimum credible nuclear deterrence along with Agni-I, Agni-III, Agni-IV and Agni-V. The missile is, in fact, a ready-to-fire missile with a launch time of about 15 minutes, the source added.