In­dia’s nu­clear-ca­pa­ble mis­sile Agni-III fails test launch

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NEW DELHI: In­dian mil­i­tary’s proud prod­uct, Ag­niIII bal­lis­tic mis­sile, failed its maiden night test launch and crashed into the sea shortly af­ter launch, re­ported New In­dian Ex­press.

The mis­sile plunged into the sea af­ter the first-stage sep­a­ra­tion. It was launched from Ab­dul Kalam Is­land off In­dia’s Odisha coast.

The Agni-III bal­lis­tic mis­sile is ca­pa­ble of haul­ing con­ven­tional and nu­clear war­heads, weigh­ing up to 1.5 tonnes, to a re­ported range of more than 2,000kms.

“The mis­sile trav­eled around 115 km into its ini­tial flight tra­jec­tory when things went awry. It de­vi­ated from the flight path forc­ing the mission team to ter­mi­nate it mid­way,” In­dian me­dia quoted ‘highly placed’ sources.

An ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion points to a ‘man­u­fac­tur­ing de­fect’ in the mis­sile. If true, it is an­other set­back for the Naren­dra Modi-led ‘Made in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive. Weapon sys­tems pro­duced in In­dia usu­ally suf­fer from low work­man­ship and suf­fer from poor main­te­nance stan­dards preva­lent across the In­dian mil­i­tary.

“It could be pos­si­bly due to me­tal­lur­gi­cal de­fects,” added sources.

“Star­ing from the launch to the first phase sep­a­ra­tion, ev­ery­thing was smooth in ac­cor­dance with the mission plan. But sud­denly it started be­hav­ing ab­nor­mally.”

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