BALASORE: Indian Army is readying to carry out a fresh user trial of the surface-to-surface nuclear capable intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) Agni-IV from a defence base off the Odisha coast by the end of this month.
Defence sources said preparation was on in full swing at the Wheeler Island test facility for the scheduled test which is likely to be conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army on August 30 or 31. This will be second user trial of the weapon system. Earlier, the missile was successfully test-fired from the same test range on December 2 last year.
A defence official said the fresh trial is aimed at gauging the performance of its sub-systems and checking the readiness of the armed forces to launch the missile on its own. The mission team, he said, is working meticulously to achieve success with high accuracy.
The indigenously developed state-of-the-art missile, the fourth in the Agni series, has completed all developmental trials successfully and is the most advanced long-range ballistic missile capable of being launched within minutes from a self-contained road mobile launcher.
Having a strike range of around 4,000 km, the two-stage solid propelled missile’s length is around 20 metres, diameter one metre and it weighs around 17 tonne. It can be launched from both rail and road mobile launchers, thereby giving it more flexibility and wide range of operational success.
Defence sources said Agni-IV is a modified version of the Agni-II strategic missile and was originally called Agni-II Prime. Its first, second and third tests conducted respectively on November 15, 2011, September 19, 2012 and January 20 last year were successful. Agni-IV can carry upto one tonne of warhead with re-entry heat shield.