India successfully tests Agni-III missile
Apr 12, 2007 - 12:29:54 PM
Balasore, April 12 - Marking a new milestone in missile technology, India Thursday successfully tested its home-grown nuclear capable Agni-III ballistic missile, with a range of over 3,000 km, from a defence base in Orissa.
The missile was test-fired at 10.52 a.m. from launching complex No. 4 of the Inner Wheeler Island, a new launch site of the Integrated Test Range - at the Chandipur defence base, 230 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.
The first test of the missile from the same defence base on July 9, 2006 had failed -- the second stage of the rocket had failed to separate from the missile quickly and fallen short of its target.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation -, which developed the missile, had attributed this failure to a 'material-related fault', besides problems with the protective heat shield, design and propulsion.
However, the initial feedback from the Thursday test indicated that it was successful, a senior defence official told IANS.
Agni-III, one of the Agni series missiles, is capable of carrying warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, is 16 metres tall and weighs 48 tonnes.
Agni-I is a 750-800 km short-range missile. Agni-II has a range of more than 1,500 km. Both these have already been inducted in the armed forces.
While Agni-III is capable of reaching strategic targets deep inside China like Beijing and Shanghai, it, however, falls short of being an ICBM - that has ranges of over 5,000 km, a scientist said.
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