Saturday, November 27, 2010
India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-I missile
India on Thursday test-fired an upgraded version of the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-I from a defence base off the east coast.
The missile with better re-entry technology and manoeuvrability was fired by the armed forces from a mobile launcher at the launching complex - IV of the Integrated Test Range in Wheeler's Island at about 10.10am.
"The result of the test-firing was not immediately known. However, the flight was made for user's trail and it has met all the mission objectives. The test was to reconfirm the technical parameters set for the user associated launch," a defence official said.
After a vertical lift-off from the launch pad at the ITR, the missile rose into the sky leaving behind a ribbon of smokes. Ground radars, telemetry stations and naval ships, positioned close to the intended impact point, monitored the course of the missile.
Agni-I has a strike range of 700-900 kms. Compared to its longer-range cousins, its height is just 15 metres and diameter is one meter. It is powered by both solid and liquid propellants, which imparts it a speed of 2.5 km per second.
According to defence sources, it can blast off from both road and rail mobile launchers. Weighing less but having the same thrust, the missile has added acceleration.
Agni-1 was first test-fired on January 25, 2002. Its second and third tests were conducted on January 9, 2003 and July 4, 2004 respectively from the same launching site. Thursday's test was its eighth test.
Prior to the test, eight boats were engaged to patrol around the Wheeler Island and fishermen were warned not to venture into the sea. Heavy security arrangements were also made along the sea coast.
The Director of Advanced System Laboratory (ASL) and project director of Agni missiles, Avinash Chander, and ITR director SP Dash were present along with the officials of Indian army and other defence scientists during the test.
Posted by sid at 11:10 PM