India test fires Agni-II Ballistic Missile off Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha

India flight-tested Agni-II intermediate range surface-to-surface ballistic missile from off Odisha Coast as part of user trial. There was, however, no official confirmation by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) if the flight-test was successful and met all its mission objectives. Fired at around 10.23 AM from Dr Abdul Kalam Island in Bhadrak district by the personnel of the Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army, the missile reportedly achieved its full range and splashed down at the pre-designated target in the sea with high degree of accuracy, Defence sources said. Reports added that Naval ships tracked the vehicle homing on to the target, while a network of radars, telemetry and electro-optical instruments monitored the trajectory. The success of the test is significant as Agni-II is considered one of the key weapon systems of India’s nuclear deterrence programme. The 2,000-km plus range nuclear-capable missile was lifted from the Launch Complex IV. After initial failures, India had in 2010 successfully test-fired Agni-II. The success was repeated in 2014 and in succeeding test-firing exercises. Developed as part of medium and long range Agni series of missile systems, – Agni-II has already been inducted into the Armed Forces. It is a two-stage solid propelled system and equipped with a special navigation system to achieve high degree of accuracy. The missile weighs 17 tonnes and its range can be increased to 3,000 km by reducing the payload. It can be fired from both rail and road mobile launchers. It takes only 15 minutes for the missile to be readied for firing.

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