India Monday successfully tested its long-range, nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface Agni-IV missile from a military base in Odisha, an official said.
The new generation missile, with the capability to hit targets 4,000 km away, was tested for its full range from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast near Dhamra in Bhadrak district, about 200 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.
The missile took off majestically, rose to a height of over 850 km, covered the intended range in about 20 minutes; hit the target with two digit accuracy; meeting all mission objectives and proving the capabilities of the missile.
“The test was a 100 percent success. It has met all mission requirements. It was a developmental trial by the DRDO. It was a pre-induction test,” test range director M.V.K.V. Prasad told IANS.
The DRDO – Defence Research and Development Organisation – has developed and tested the new missile.
The Agni-IV missile propelled by composite solid fuel rocket motor technology was launched from its road mobile launcher, DRDO spokesman Ravi Kumar Gupta said in a statement.
The long-range radars and Electro-Optical Tracking systems located all along the coast have tracked and monitored all the parameters throughout the flight.
Two ships located near the target point tracked the rocket and witnessed the final event. Agni-IV is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, fifth generation on-board computer and distributed architecture, he said.
It has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances. The most accurate Ring Laser Gyro based Inertial Navigation System and supported by Micro Navigation System, ensured the vehicle reached the target within two digit accuracy, he said.
The re-entry heat shield withstood temperatures in the range of 4,000 degrees Centigrade and made sure the avionics functioned normally with inside temperature remaining less than 50 degrees centigrade.
Agni-I, -II, -III and Prithvi are already in the arsenal of the armed forces, with reach of over 3,000 km and giving India an effective deterrence capability.
“The event is of greater significance since the system was tested in its deliverable configuration with the active participation of Strategic Force Command (SFC) personnel,” said DRDO director general Avinash Chander who commanded the launch sequence.
“The missile is now ready for induction and its serial production will now begin,” said Chander, congratulating all the team members from DRDO and SFC.
“Today’s launch takes India’s level of deterrence and its preparedness and effectiveness to newer heights,” he pointed out.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony also congratulated the DRDO chief and his team on the success.
The 20-metre tall missile weighs 17 tonnes and has two stages of solid propulsion. Considered to be one of its kinds in the world, the missile’s last test conducted from the same defence base Sep 19, 2012, was successful.