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India successfully test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-III missile

 India Monday successfully test fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile from a base in Odisha, a defence official said.

The surface-to-surface missile, with a range of over 3,000 km, was fired from a launching complex at the Inner Wheeler Island off the coast of Dhamra in Bhadrak district, about 200 km from here.

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 missile hit the target in the Bay of Bengal.

The Agni III missile
The Agni III missile

"The test was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command. It was a user trial," test range director M.V.K.V. Prasad said. "It was tested for full range. The test was successful. It met all mission parameters," he added.

"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 said.

"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. It can re-enter the atmosphere with a very high velocity.

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.

Agni-III is a rail mobile system capable missile and can be launched from anywhere in India.

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