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India successfully test-fires Agni-III missile

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Indian military Sunday test-fired the 3000 km range surface-to-surface nuclear capable Agni-III missile from Balasore the Wheelers Island off Orissa coast. A PTI Photo.

BALASORE, ORISSA (PTI): India today "successfully" test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a range of more than 3,000 km from the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast.

The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile was tested from a rail mobile launcher near Dhamara, about 100 km from here, at about 1046 hours, 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 today'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 in the down range area for data analysis, the sources said.

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-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 (DRDO) 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.

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