SP's LandForces - - NEWS IN BRIEF -

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.

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