Today India has successfully test-fired its longest range nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile for the fourth time from the Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa. Test of the Agni-III ballistic missile was carried out at 1050 hours today.
According to the Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar, Agni-III ballistic missile was able to hit the target with pin-point accuracy and met all the mission objectives. Two Indian navy ships located near the target tracked and witnessed the missile hitting it accurately, he said. During today's launch, the missile was fired from a mobile rail launcher, sources in Balasore said.
Indian Defence Minister, A K Antony has congratulated DRDO Chief V K Saraswat and the scientists involved in the Agni-III project on the "remarkable success" of the missile test. Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said the launch was part of the pre-induction trial and "now the missile system will be fully inducted into the armed forces".
Agni-III ballistic missile is 17-metre long Agni-III with 2-metre diameter and a launch weight of 50 tonnes. Agni-III is a solid-propelled, two-stage missile that is designed by DRDO to carry nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.Agni-III ballistic missile is India's longest-range missile, designed to reach 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles). Once operational, Agni-III will provide India with the capability to strike deep into China.
"During the course of the flight, the missile reached a peak height of 350 kms and re-entered the atmosphere successfully tolerating the skin temperatures of nearly 3000 degree Celsius," Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said. The first trial of Agni-III was conducted on July 9, 2006 and it had ended in a failure. But the subsequent two tests on April 12, 2007 and May 7, 2008 were successful.