The first night trial of Agni-I ballistic missile has been postponed indefinitely for the second time, a defence official said. The missile was to be tested for the first time for night launch by the Strategic Forces Command as part of user trial from the Wheeler Island off the coast near Dhamra in Bhadrak district in Odisha, 170 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. But it was put off for a day initially for some technical glitches. It was again deferred indefinitely as the glitches persisted. The glitches “will be analysed. The next launch would be decided later. It may take some more time because there are other missions immediately. After we finish the scheduled missions, we will come back to this,” the official told IANS. The Agni, which has already been inducted in the army, uses solid propulsion booster and a liquid propulsion upper stage, derived from country’s first indigenously developed ballistic missile Prithvi. It was first tested from the same base Jan 25, 2002. Although several trials of the missile has been conducted since then, for the first time a night trial of Agni-I was planned to reconfirm its technological parameters. The official said preparation was underway to carry out multiple tests of medium-range Akash missile from the Integrated Test Range of Chandipur (ITR) in the costal district of Balasore, about 230 km from Bhubaneswar within the next fortnight. One test is likely to be carried out Friday, he said. The 700-kg indigenously developed Akash all-weather surface-to-air missile has a range of about 27 km and can carry a 60-kg warhead. It can fly at a speed of up to Mach 2.5 and climb up to an altitude of 18 km. It can operate autonomously, and engage and neutralise different aerial targets simultaneously. It can be launched from static or mobile platforms providing the armed forces flexible deployment.
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