HYDERABAD: The first night trial of the nuclear weapon capable Agni-II on Monday failed, with the missile not achieving the mission objectives.

The 2,000 km range Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) fired from a mobile platform at 7.55 p.m. from the Wheeler Island, off the Orissa Coast, tumbled into the sea after the first stage. The operation was carried out by the personnel of the Strategic Forces Command of the Army.

Sources in the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) told The Hindu that some malfunction occurred after 60 seconds when the missile reached an altitude of 20 km, following which it nosedived into the sea.

The fact that the first stage, a replica of the SLV-3 first stage, functioned well showed it was robust. “Something went wrong after the first stage,” the sources said.

The malfunction, probably in the control system for a few seconds, affected the normal thrust and resulted in the missile losing its speed. The vehicle became uncontrollable subsequently. The problem might have occurred either during separation or ignition of the second stage.

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