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Agni-III missile successfully test-fired


Agni-III missile lifts off flawlessly into the sky from Wheelers Island, off the Odisha Coast on Monday. Photo: PTI.

BALASORE, ODISHA (PTI): India on Monday successfully test-fired their nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 3,000 km as part of a user trial by the Indian Army from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.

"The test-fire conducted by Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Army was totally successful. Data analyses showed the trial met all parametres," DRDO Spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta told PTI over phone.

The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile was flight-tested from a mobile launcher at launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range at about 1655 hrs, defence sources said.

The entire launch operation of the missile, having a strike range of more than 3,000 km, was carried out by SFC with logistic support by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

"It was the second user trial in the Agni-III series carried out to establish the 'repeatability' of the missile's performance," a DRDO official said.

Though the first developmental trial of Agni-III carried out on July 9, 2006 could not provide desired result, subsequent tests on April 12, 2007, May 7, 2008 and February 7, 2010 as well as the first user trial on September 21, 2012 from the same base were all successful.

For data analysis, the entire trajectory of today's trial was monitored through various telemetry stations, electro- optic systems and sophisticated radars located along the coast, and by naval ships anchored near the impact point, the sources said.

The Agni-III missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system. With a length of 17 metres, the missile's diameter is 2 metres and launch weight is around 50 tonnes. It can carry warhead of 1.5 tonne which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield.

The sleek missile, already inducted into the armed forces, is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computer. The electronic systems are hardened for higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects, a DRDO scientist said.

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