The stage is set, probably for the final developmental test-flight of one of India's longest range missiles- the nuclear weapons-capable Agni-IV from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast on Wednesday.

The stage is set, probably for the final developmental test-flight of one of India's longest range missiles- the nuclear weapons-capable Agni-IV from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast on Wednesday.

The trial was planned for Tuesday, but recent heavy rains caused a delay in carrying out checks to various sub-subsystems of the 4,000 km range surface-to-surface missile.

This will be the third trial of Agni-IV, with the first one ending in failure and the second hitting the target on bang.

Hectic preparations are on at the Wheeler Island for the launch by missile technologists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Two naval ships are anchored near the target point in the Indian Ocean to record the terminal event.

Agni-IV is expected to be inducted into the Services early next year after the completion of the developmental trials.

The two-stage solid fuel propelled missile is lighter than Agni-III because of the composite rocket motor casings.

It is designed to carry a payload of 1,000 kg. Its re-entry vehicle is equipped with heat shield to enable the payload withstand searing temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees Celsius.

The missile’s advanced ring-laser gyro-based INS ensures a high degree of accuracy.

The Agni-IV trial will be followed by Agni-III's test-firing by the personnel of Strategic Forces Command on September 21.

DRDO scientists are also planning to shortly conduct the first trial of the subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay. The terrain-hugging missile, with a range of 1,000 km, could be launched from multiple platforms.

A top DRDO official said the advantage with the “fast-reaction” Nirbhay was that it would be difficult for enemy radars to detect it.

The missile was highly manoeuvrable and could change the trajectory mid-course because of “waypoint navigation.”

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