India on Thursday successfully test-fired nuclear weapons-capable Agni-III ballistic missile from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast. Although the missile has a strike range of more than 3,000 k.m., it was tested for a lesser range, in today's mission.
The suface to surface missile was launched by the personnel of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) at 9.52 a.m. from a mobile launcher as part of regular training exercise for the user.
It was picked up randomly from the production lot and test fired. The SFC is tasked with handling strategic weaons systems. After the command for auto-lanuch was given, the two-stage solid-propelled missile took off on a flight of 1,200 seconds and homed onto the pre-designated target area in the bay of bengal with accuracy. Defence Research and Development Organisation sources told The Hindu that it met all the mission objectives.
Various parameters and trajectory of the 17-meter tall missile were tracked and monitored in real time by radars along the east coast, as also by the telemetry and electro-optical systems. Two down-range ships near the impact point recorded the terminal event.
Agni-III is one of the sophisticated and accurate missiles of its class and has already been inducted into armed forces. It is capable of carrying a payload weighing 1.5 tonnes to a distance of more than 3,000 k.m.