India successfully test-fires Agni-I ballistic missile

Balasore:  India today successfully test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-I strategic ballistic missile, with a strike range of 700 km, as part of the Army`s user trial from the test range at Wheeler Island off Chandipur.

"The indigenously developed surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test fired from a mobile launcher at about 0925 hrs from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range," defence sources said.

Describing the trial as successful, a senior official said it met the mission objectives. The Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the Army, as part of their training exercise, executed the trial with logistic support provided by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) at the ITR, a DRDO official said.

Agni-I missile has a specialised navigation system which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy, he said.

The trajectory of the missile, which has an operational strike range of 700 km, was tracked by sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations located along the sea coast and ships positioned near the impact point in the downrange area.

Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15-metre-long Agni-I, which can carry payloads up to 1000 kg, has already been inducted into the Indian Army.

Agni-I was developed by advanced systems laboratory (ASL), the premier missile development laboratory of the DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad.

The last trial of the Agni-I missile was successfully carried out on November 25, 2010 from the same base. Since the missile has already been inducted into the armed forces, it is important to conduct user trials for training of defence personnel and improvement of their skills, sources said.