India successfully tests Agni-III missile

Thursday, 12 April 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Balasore: Marking a new milestone in missile technology, India successfully tested its home-grown nuclear capable Agni-III ballistic missile, with a range of over 3,000 km, from a defense 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 (ITR) at the Chandipur defense base, 230 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.

The first test of the missile from the same defense 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 De fence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), 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 test indicated that it was successful, said a senior defense official.

Agni-III, one of the Agni series missiles, is capable of carrying warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, is 16 meters 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 (inter-continental ballistic missile) that has ranges of over 5,000 km, a scientist said.
Source: IANS
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