Technical snag found in control system in first stage
A scheduled launch of Agni-II missile on Monday was postponed by about a week following a technical snag.
“We did not want to go ahead with the launch because we made some observation of the control system of the vehicle's first stage,” a missile technologist of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.
Agni-II, with an intermediate range of 2,500 km, carries a one-tonne nuclear warhead. The missile was to have lifted off around 10 a.m. from the Wheeler Island, off Dhamra village on the Orissa coast. The Strategic Forces Command of the Army, which handles nuclear weapons-delivery systems, was to conduct the launch.
The DRDO had been facing problems related to the control system in its missile missions. Prithvi, which forms part of the interceptor missile system, veered off its path and did not reach its required altitude of 110 km on March 15, 2010. It reached a height of only 60 to 70 km and tumbled into the Bay of Bengal. The malfunctioning of a component in the control and guidance system was said to be the reason for the failure. On December 10, 2010, the maiden launch of Agni-II Prime missile failed, again owing to a problem in the control system in the first stage.
After the launch of Agni-II, the DRDO will concentrate on launching the Agni-II Prime in October. It has a range of 2,500 to 3,000 km.
The DRDO plans to launch Agni-V, which has a range of more than 5,000 km, in December.
The K-15 missile, which will form part of the arsenal of nuclear-powered submarine Arihant, is already under production. It has a range of 700 km.
The DRDO is working on K-4 underwater-launched missile, which can attack targets 3,000 km away.