Continuing its recent series of missile tests, India on Sunday successfully test-fired its nuclear capable surface-to-surface intermediate range ballistic missile Agni II from Wheeler Island off Odisha in the Bay of Bengal.
The missile was launched at about 10.25 am by the Army from the integrated test range base of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), as India seeks to attain the 'nuclear triad' – capability by land, sea, and air.
The Agni-II missile was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) and integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad.
''The two-stage vehicle launched from a mobile launcher has met all the mission objectives. Radar and electro-optical tracking systems located all along have tracked and monitored all parameters of the vehicle,'' said Ravi Kumar Gupta, director, DRDO.
The 17-tonne, Agni II can carry a payload of more than 1,000 kg with a range of 2,000 km. The range of the missile, which can be fired from both rail and road mobile launchers, can be increased to 3,000km by reducing the payload.
The first prototype of Agni II was tested in 1999 and has already been inducted in the defence forces.
"Agni-II Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) has already been inducted into the services and today's test was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Army as part of training exercise with logistic support provided by the DRDO," officials said.
The missile is equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system, guided by a novel scheme of command and control systems. It is powered by a solid rocket propellant system.
"The entire trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ships located near the impact point in the down range area of the sea," said a DRDO scientist.
Agni-II is part of the Agni series of missiles developed by DRDO which includes Agni I with a 700 km range, Agni III with a 3,000 km range, Agni IV with 4,000 km range and Agni V a more than 5,000 km range.