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N-capable Agni-II missile's first night trial fails

A File Photo of Agni-II missile.

BALASORE (PTI): The first-ever night trial of India's nuclear capable Agni-II Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) has failed to meet all the mission parameters, defence sources said Tuesday.

“The test-fire, conducted from the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast Monday night, could not achieve all the desired results and pre-coordinated parameters,” they said after a thorough analyses of the mission data.

The two-stage indigenously developed Agni-II missile, with a range of 2000 km, which was test-fired from a mobile launcher, was intended to train the end-user, the Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Indian Army, to operate the sophisticated missile in adverse conditions.

However, after a smooth take-off and proper first stage separation, the sleek missile appeared to have failed to meet the desired results mid-way at the second stage separation, the sources said.

Though the top brass of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) were tight-lipped about the outcome of the trial, a source said that at the time of the second stage separation, the missile appeared to have deviated from its coordinated path.

Defence scientists are carrying out detailed analyses of the test conducted in darkness to ascertain the reason behind the missile's erratic behaviour, the sources said.

However, the first night trial is seen as a significant step towards making the missile fully operational in the SFC and enabling the end-users to fire it whenever necessary, a DRDO scientist said.

He said since it was a training exercise for the end-users, one should be familiar with the operations in extreme conditions.

The entire trajectory of Monday night's trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships located near the impact point in the down range of the Bay of Bengal, the sources said.

The missile, capable of carrying a pay load of 1000 kg over a distance of 2000 km, is part of the Agni series which includes Agni-I of 700 km range and Agni-III (3,500 km).

Agni-I has already inducted into the Services and Agni-III is in the process of induction.

The first trial of Agni-II was made on April 11, 1999 and the last test was conducted on May 19, 2009 from the Wheeler Island.

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