After a successful user trial of Prithvi-II ballistic missile
culminating its on-going strategic training exercise by Strategic Forces
Command (SFC), the DRDO is readying to carry out the third
developmental trial of nuclear capable Agni-IV missile from a defence
base off the Odisha coast next week.
Earlier, it was planned to be
test-fired in December. Defence sources said the test would be
conducted from the Wheeler Island either on January 18 or 19. This test
is significant as its success would pave the way for its user associate
tests from next year in a bid to induct the missile in the Armed Forces.
indigenously built 4,000-km range surface-to-surface intermediate range
ballistic missile (IRBM), first of its kind in the world in terms of
technology, has many unique features and can also defend anti-ballistic
Preparation is on in full swing at the test
facility from where the missile would be launched. “The missile
components are being integrated and the range is being readied for the
test. As both first and second trials of the missile in 2011 and 2012
were flawless, this time we too hope to get a copybook success,” said a
defence official. The Agni-IV weighs less compared to its sibling
Agni-III which has a strike range of around 3,000 km. While Agni-III
weighs about 46 tonnes, Agni-IV is only 17 tonne.
The two missiles
have separate identities and will complement each other when required
during the time of crisis. Though it is said that the Agni-IV is a
modified version of the Agni-II Prime strategic missile whose first test
ended in failure, DRDO during the maiden test of Agni-IV claimed that
there was no missile as Agni-II Prime and it was basically Agni-IV.
this missile can carry warhead upto one tonne with re-entry heat
shield. The two-stage solid propelled missile is 20 metre tall. While
Agni-III is launched from rail mobile launcher, Agni-IV can be fired
from both rail and road mobile launchers, which gives it more
flexibility and wide range of operational success. A scientist said
Agni-IV would bridge the gap between Agni-III and Agni-V. It is designed
to increase the kill efficiency along with a higher range of
performance. The missile is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies
that include indigenously developed ring laser gyro and composite rocket
Compared to the Pershing missile of the US in terms of
technology, the Agni-IV has many cutting-edge technologies which can
meet global standards. The DRDO is planning to induct the missile by end
of next year.