India [ Images ] "successfully" test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a range of more than 3,000 km from the Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast, on Sunday.
The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile was tested from a rail mobile launcher near Dhamara, about 100 km from Balasore, defence sources said. "All mission parameters were met," they said, adding the test was a success. This was the fourth flight test in the Agni-III series carried out to establish the "repeatability" of the missile's performance, they said.
The entire trajectory of Sunday's trial was monitored through various telemetry stations, electro-optic systems and sophisticated radars located along the coast, in Port Blair and by Naval ships anchored near the impact point, for data analysis, the sources said.
The Agni-III missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system. With a length of 17 metres, the missile's diameter is 2 metres and launch weight is 50 tonnes. It can carry a payload of 1.5 tonnes which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield.
The sleek missile is equipped with sophisticated navigation, guidance and control systems along with advanced on-board computer systems. The electronic systems are hardened for higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects, an official of Defence Research and Development Organisation said. A high performance indigenous ring laser gyro-based navigation system, which was flight-tested for the first time during the last Agni-III trial, was a success, he said.
The first trial of Agni-III conducted on July 9, 2006 had ended in failure. But the subsequent two tests on April 12, 2007 and May 7, 2008 were successful.