India flight tests its nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni (A1) from Wheeler Islands on the eastern coast.
The missile with an operational strike range of 700 kms was tested from a Road Mobile Launcher System on Thursday (Dec. 01) and tracked by sophisticated radars and electro-optic telemetry stations located along the sea coast and ships positioned near the impact point in the downrange area, said a spokesman of DRDO.
Developed indigenously by Advanced System Laboratory (ASL), of DRDO in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and integrated by Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics Ltd., the 12-tonnes, 15-meter-long Agni-I has a payload of 1000 kg. It has already been inducted into Indian Army after successful trials in November 2010. It has a specialized navigation system, which ensures it reaches the target with a high degree of accuracy, said the spokesman.
The launch was witnessed by Director General, DRDO Dr. VK Saraswat, Defence Scientist Avinash Chander and Programme Director of Agni Dr. J. Chattopadhyaya.
A fortnight ago, DRDO had tested its most advanced inter-continental missile system Agni-4 with a range of 3,500 kms. Agni-4 attained a height of 900 kms and reached its pre-designated target in the international waters of Bay of Bengal. It is lighter in weight and has two stages of Solid Propulsion and a Payload with re-entry heat shield.
With the latest successful test flight of missiles, India joins the select club of countries capable of making intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). US, China, the UK and Russia are the other four countries capable of developing ICBMs.
DRDO spokesman said, Agni (A1) with capability to carry strategic warheads will be mass produced and delivered to the Armed Forces in the coming years.