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India's ballistic missile Agni-II set for launch

A file photo of Agni-II

CHENNAI: Preparations are in full swing for the launch of India’s surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-II by the Indian Army on May 19 from the Wheeler Island, off Dhamra village on the Orissa coast.

The Indian Army will carry out the launch with the missile technologists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) who will be present as “observers.”

A media report quoting DRDO officials said, “This launch was to prove the effectiveness of the system and the readiness of the user [Army] in firing the missile.”

This will be the fourth launch of Agni-II. The Army has already deployed Agni-II in its arsenal.

Since the Army had already inducted the missile into its arsenal, it would pick an Agni-II at random from a clutch of missiles and fire it to test its effectiveness. DRDO officials called it “a repeat launch” to provide training to the Army personnel, according to The Hindu.

“It is entirely the Army’s show. We will only help them in case of any technical issue,” the scientists said.

Agni-II weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a nuclear warhead weighing one tone over a distance of 2,500 km. It is 20 meter long and has been designed and developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory, a unit of the DRDO, in Hyderabad.

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