India today successfully test-fired its indigenously built nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile, which can hit a target 700 km away, as part of a user trial by Army from a test range off Odisha coast. The surface-to-surface missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 10.10 AM from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island), defence officials said.
Describing the trial as successful, they said the launch of the intermediate range single-stage missile was “part of training exercise by Strategic Forces Command of Indian Army”, they said. “The launch was undertaken as periodic training activity by SFC to further consolidate operational readiness,” they said.
The trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships from its launch till the missile hit the target area with accuracy, they said.
Agni-I missile is equipped with sophisticated navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision.
The missile, which has already been inducted into armed forces, has proved its excellent performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality, they said.
Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I is designed to carry a payload of more than one tonne. Its strike range can be extended by reducing the payload.
Agni-I was developed by a premier missile development laboratory of DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.
The last trial of Agni-I, conducted successfully on March 14, 2016 from the same base.