Balasore: India today test-fired its medium range nuclear capable Agni-II missile with a strike range of 2,000 km from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast, Defence sources said. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was conducted from a mobile launcher at the Launch Complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at around 8.38 am, the sources said. The Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) has already been inducted into the services and today’s test was carried out by the Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) with logistic support provided by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), they said.
The 20-metre-long Agni-II ballistic missile has a launch weight of 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1,000 kg over a distance of 2,000 km. The state-of-the-art missile, already a part of the country’s arsenal for strategic deterrence, was launched as a training exercise by the armed forces, a DRDO scientist said.
Agni-II, a two-stage missile, equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by a unique command and control system was propelled by solid rocket propellant system, he said. The entire trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and two naval ships located near the impact point in the down range area of the Bay of Bengal.
Agni-II was developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other DRDO laboratories and integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad, sources said. The missile is part of the Agni series of missiles which includes the Agni-I with a 700 km range, Agni-III with a 3,000 km range, Agni-IV and Agni-V both having long-range capabilities. The first prototype of the Agni-II missile was carried out on April 11, 1999, and the last launch was a user’s trial on May 4, 2017.