India today successfully test-fired its short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-1 with a strike range of over 700 km from a test range off the Odisha coast, Defence sources said.
Agni-I, the first in the Agni series of ballistic missiles, was on Tuesday test-fired successfully from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast at 8:30 AM in the morning. The indigenously developed nuclear capable Agni-I missile was test-fired by the Strategic Force of Command of Indian Army at Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, in Balasore. This was a user trial of the 700 km range surface-to-surface missile from a mobile launcher.
According to some defence sources it was the 18th version of Agni-I. This version is also capable to achieve all parameters within the stipulated time period, the sources added. The defence sources further elaborated this by saying that the missile was inducted into service in 2004 and the surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants was launched as part of a regular training exercise by the armed forces.
The defence sources also claimed that the user trial reconfirms the Army’s readiness to fire it at short notice. A specialized navigation system, which is implanted in the the Agni-I missile ensures that the missile reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy and precision. The Agni-I missile, which has already been inducted into the armed forces has also demonstrated its excellent performance in terms of range and accuracy.
The Agni-I missile, which can be launched from both road and rail mobile launchers, is 15-metre-long. It weighs 12 tonne and can carry both conventional and nuclear payloads up to 1,000 kg. The missile is powered by both solid and liquid propellants which imparts it a speed of 2.5 km per second. The Agni-I was developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) in partnership with the Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI), and it was integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad. The Advanced Systems Laboratory is the leading missile development laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
India currently has the Agni-I of 700-km range, Agni-II of 2,000-km range, Agni-III and Agni-IV are over 3,500-km range, and the supersonic Brahmos missiles. India had previously tested Agni-V on December 26, 2016 off Wheeler Island on the Odisha coast. This test was described as the fourth and final experimental test of the Agni-I missile.