India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) successfully test fired its Agni-II nuclear-capable medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The test launch was conducted from a mobile launcher at Launch Complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at the Dr Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island) off the Odisha coast, at around 8:38 am local time.
According to the sources, the entire trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and two naval ships located near the impact point in the down range area of the Bay of Bengal.
The state-of-the-art missile, already a part of the country’s arsenal for strategic deterrence, was launched as a training exercise by the armed forces, a DRDO scientist said.
The test of the 17-tonne surface-to-surface missile (SSM) was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Armed Forces with logistic support provided by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) sometimes called Strategic Nuclear Command, forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) and is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.
The DRDO had successfully tested country’s longest range indigenously developed nuclear missile, Agni-V in January and the short-range nuclear capable ballistic missile, Agni-I earlier this month.
Agni-II is a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) in operation with the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Armed Forces. It was developed as part of medium- and long-range Agni series of missile systems.
The 20-meter long missile has a launch weight of 17 tonne and can carry a payload of 1,000 kg over a distance of 2,000 kms. It is equipped with advanced high accuracy navigation system and guided by a unique command and control system was propelled by solid rocket propellant system.
The missile has two solid fuel stages and a Post Boost Vehicle (PBV) integrated into the missile’s Re-entry Vehicle (RV). The Agni’s manoeuvring RV is made of a carbon-carbon composite material that is light and able to sustain high thermal stresses of re-entry, in a variety of trajectories.
Agni-II can reach all of Pakistan and most parts of south and southeastern China.
The missile was developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL) in collaboration with the Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) and the Research Centre Imarat (RCI). All the laboratories are under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). DRDO is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
The missile is integrated at the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), Hyderabad.