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Agni-II missile's first night user trial conducted


A File Photo of Agni-II nuke-capable missile being test-fired from a coastal region in India. Image Credit: DRDO.

Balasore (Orissa) (PTI): India Monday test-fired its nuclear capable Agni-II Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) during night for the first time from the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast.

The night trial, a major step towards making it fully operational in the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), was conducted from a rail mobile system in the launch complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 7.50 pm, a defence source said soon after the versatile and indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile blasted off from the launch pad.

"It was a smooth launch. Data relating to various parameters of the missions' objectives are being analysed," said a defence official who witnessed the test launch.

The 2000-km plus Agni-II has already been inducted into service and today's test was carried out by the SFC of the Indian Army while logistic support was provided by various laboratories and personnel of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), sources said.

On the significance of conducting night trial, a DRDO scientist said since it is a training exercise for the end-users, one should be familiar with the operation in extreme conditions.

The entire trajectory of today's trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and naval ship located near the impact point in the down range of the Bay, the sources said.

Agni-II is a two stage, solid propelled ballistic missile and is 20-meter long. The launch weight of the missile is 17 tonnes.

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