India on Tuesday successfully test-fired Agni-IV strategic missile for its full strike range of 4,000 km from the Wheeler Island, off the Odisha Coast.
The nuclear weapons capable long range missile in deliverable version was launched for the first time by the Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) around 10.15 am. Carrying a one-tonne dummy warhead, the missile splashed down near its pre-designated target point in the waters of Indian Ocean with high degree of accuracy as two naval ships located nearby recorded the terminal event.
From the start till the end, the trajectory of the missile and its other parameters were tracked and monitored by a network of radar and telemetry stations and electro-optical systems along the East Coast.
The missile’s re-entry vehicle’s heat shield enabled it to withstand searing temperatures of more than 3,000 degrees C when it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere. Highly sophisticated Ring Laser Gyros based navigation system and modern avionics provided reliability in steering the missile to its target point.
The two-stage, solid fuelled Agni-IV along with other missiles in Agni series , would be the mainstay of India’s nuclear deterrence programme.
This was the fourth success in a row for Agni-IV as three previous flight trials carried out by Defence Research and Development Organisation’s missile technologists achieved their respective mission objectives in November 2011, September 2012 and January 2014.
After a few more user trials by SFC personnel, the missile would be inducted into the Army.Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister Avinash Chander, Top DRDO missile scientists, including Director-General Missiles and Strategic Systems Dr. V,G.Sekaran, project director Tessy Thomas and RCI Director Satheesh Reddy were present.