Balasore (Odisha) : India on Monday successfully test fired its 4000-km range nuclear capable ballistic missile ‘Agni-IV’, making it ready for induction into the Army. “The test firing was a total success. The missile travelled its full range,” M V K V Prasad, director of Integrated Test Range, told PTI.
The third consecutive trial of the missile was conducted at Wheeler Island off Odisha coast at 10.52 am, DRDO said, adding the serial production of the missile would begin now. The test fire is the last one in the series of development launches.
Propelled by composite solid fuel rocket motor technology, Agni-IV was launched from its road mobile launcher, which is also indigenously developed by DRDO. The long range radars and electro-optical tracking systems which were located all along the coast tracked and monitored all the parameters throughout the flight.
Two ships located near the target point tracked the vehicle and witnessed the final event, a DRDO release said. Defence Minister A K Antony congratulated DRDO chief Avinash Chander and his team on the successful test launch.
“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,” DRDO spokesman Ravi Gupta said.
Agni-I, II, III and Prithvi are already in the arsenal of armed forces, giving a reach of over 3000 km and the country an effective deterrence capability, DRDO said. “The event is of greater significance since the system was tested in its deliverable configuration with the active participation of Strategic Force Command personnel. The missile is now ready for induction and its serial production will now begin,” said Chander, who is also the scientific advisor to the defence minister.
Chander, who commanded the launch sequence, said it took the country’s level of deterrence and preparedness and effectiveness to newer heights. “Seen together with recent momentous events – the second launch of ‘Agni-V’, operational clearance of ‘Tejas’, achieving the criticality of nuclear rector of India’s first nuclear powered submarine ‘Arihant’, completion of development phase of underwater launched missile BO5 and development of mark II version of Arjun – main battle tank, it (today’s testfire) also reflects the high maturity level of India’s capabilities in design development leading to production, contemporary weapons and platforms for strengthening its deterrence and defence capabilities,” he said.
He congratulated all team members from DRDO and Strategic Force Command. Agni-IV is equipped with state-of-the art avionics, fifth generation on-board computer and distributed architecture, besides latest features to correct and guide itself for inflight disturbances, the DRDO said.
The most accurate ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system and supported by highly reliable micro navigation system ensured that the missile reached the target within two-digit accuracy. The re-entry heat shield withstood temperatures in the range of 4000 degree centigrade and made sure the avionics function normally with inside temperature remaining less than 50 degree centigrade. V G Sekaran, Director General of Missiles and Strategic Systems reviewed the launch activities and guided the team. Tessy Thomas, project director of Agni-IV led the team of scientists during the test firing.