Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Agni-II missile fails to clear night trial

BALASORE: India's nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-II missile, test-fired for the first time after sunset on Monday, reportedly failed to get the desired results.

The Army test-fired the surface-to-surface Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from Wheeler’s Island, Bhadrak district, around 7.50pm.‘‘The liftoff and the first stage separation was smooth. But it faltered just before the second stage separation and behaved erratically, deviating from its coordinated path. Further analysis is on to ascertain the cause,’’ said a source.

The entire trajectory of Monday’s trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and a naval ship.

The launch, originally scheduled in the first week of this month, was deferred due to some technical snags in its pneumatic system. Though the snags were rectified, another glitch surfaced during Monday’s test, leading to the fiasco, the source claimed.

The nuclear capable 2,000-km-plus range missile has a length of 20 meters, a diameter of one meter, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of around 1,000 kg. It was first tested on April 11, 1999.

The test launch was significant from India's strategic point of view because for the first time since the beginning of DRDO’s missile development programme, a missile was put under trial during night. The user trial was conducted by Army officials while scientists from DRDO were present to provide necessary logistical support.

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