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Agni-II missile test-fired successfully

Y. Mallikarjun
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Agni-II blasts off from the Wheeler Island off Orissa on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement
Agni-II blasts off from the Wheeler Island off Orissa on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Agni-II, the intermediate range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, one of the key weapon systems of India's nuclear deterrence programme, was successfully flight-tested from the Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast on Monday.

The 2,000 km plus range nuclear-capable missile was fired by personnel of the Strategic Forces Command from the Launch Complex on the Island at 9.18 a.m. It achieved its full range and splashed down at the pre-designated target in the sea with high degree of accuracy after a flight duration of about 660 seconds, a top Defence Research and Development (DRDO) official told The Hindu.

Two naval ships tracked the vehicle homing on to the target, while a network of radars, telemetry and electro-optical instruments monitored the trajectory.

This was the third time that Agni-II was tested in the last one year. On the previous two occasions, the missiles failed to meet the respective mission objectives after they deviated from the flight path and nosedived into the sea during the separation of the second stage of the vehicles.

Agni-II, developed as part of medium and long range Agni series of missile systems, has already been inducted into the Armed Forces. It is a two-stage solid propelled system and equipped with a special navigation system to achieve high degree of accuracy.The system also is provided with anti-ballistic defence counter measures. It is capable of carrying one tonne payload over a distance of 2,000 km.

Top brass from the Armed Forces besides Scientific adviser to Defence Minister and Director-General, DRDO, V.K.Saraswat and Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory, Avinash Chander were present during the launch.

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