INDIA TEST-FIRES AGNI-I BALLISTIC MISSILE
The Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) has successfully test-fired the indigenously developed Agni-I ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha, in the second week of March 2016. Launched from a mobile system, the missile followed the prescribed trajectory and reached the target point covering a distance of 700 km in 9 minutes and 36 seconds. According to defence sources, the missile was tracked by radar and telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments, and two naval ships stationed near the target point. The launch was conducted as part of routine user trials for army personnel, with assistance from the scientists and officers of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The launch was undertaken as a part of periodic training activity by SFC to further consolidate operational readiness.
Developed by DRDO under the integrated guided missile development programme ( IGMDP), the Agni- I is a 15 metre- long, medium- to- intercontinental range ballistic missile ( IRBM) capable of carrying conventional and nuclear payloads at a speed of 2.5 km/ sec. The single- stage, road and rail- mobile missile features a specialised navigation system, a payload capacity of up to one tonne, and a range of 700 km. The Agni- 1 underwent its first test flight in January 2002, and has already been inducted into the Indian Army.