The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army is ready to conduct a user trial of 2,000-km range nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-II in real time situation from a defence base off Odisha coast.
Defence sources said the indigenously built intermediate range missile had been scheduled to be test-fired from the Wheeler Island test facility, nearly 12 km from Bhadrak coast, between 9 am and 11.30 am on Thursday.
An Army official said though preparation has been completed for the test, it depends on a favourable weather. “If the test does not take place on Thursday, it would be conducted on August 12,” he said.
The senior officials of Army, Agni team and Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and DRDO Director-General V K Saraswat have already reached the Wheeler Island to oversee the launch.
The test is significant as successful trial would pave the way for its deployment, sources said.
While the range integration has been completed and the missile integrated with the launcher, tracking equipment were put in place for the mission.
The two-stage missile equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by a novel scheme of state-of-the-art command and control system is propelled by solid rocket propellant.
The missile, which has a length of 21 metres and a diameter of 1.3 metre, weighs around 17 tonnes. It can carry a payload of around a tonne.
The Agni-II version of the Agni series of missiles was first test-fired in 1999 from the same location and inducted in the Army in 2004. It takes only 15 minutes for the missile to be readied for firing.
Tight security arrangements have been made in and around the Wheeler Island for the test- firing.