In a first of sorts, India launched its most advanced long range missile, Agni-IV, under Project Director, Ms Tessy Thomas, first woman scientist to head a large missile project, from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha today.
The team led by Ms Tessy prepared and integrated the missile system and launched it from a road mobile system at around 0900 hrs from Wheeler Island.
The country's longest range missile zoomed 900 km high before heading for its pre-designated target in the international waters of Bay of Bengal.
“The missile reached the target with high level of accuracy,” said Mr Avinash Chander, Chief Controller missiles and strategic systems of the Defence Research and Development Organisation from Wheeler Island.
The intermediate range ballistic missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warhead and reach over 3,000 km. It gives a two-pronged capability to the strategic forces along with Agni-III, which has a range of 3,000 km.
The first test of the Agni-IV last year failed as the missile veered off immediately after launch and fell into the Bay.
The success of the missile marks a quantum jump in technology and launch capability.
It is highly flexible in operation and ready to use system will add lot of strength to the strategic deterrence capability of the country, he told Business Line.
The two-stage solid propulsion missile is lighter in weight than the existing Agni variants. Indigenously developed composite rocket motor has been successfully demonstrated.
Similarly, the ring laser gyros and micro navigation systems, which complement each other have been flown in guidance mode for the first time, Mr Chander said.
For Armed forces
One more trial has been shortly planned for evaluation and induction into the Armed forces. The Advanced Systems Laboratory, the Research Centre Imarat, both in Hyderabad, several defence labs and industry have contributed in the development of these systems and components.
The missile system is equipped with compact avionics, the high performance onboard computer and reliable communication and digital control system, which guide the missile to the target.
Dr V.K. Saraswat, SA to RM congratulated all the scientists and employees of DRDO and the Armed forces for the success.
The success of Agni-IV has boosted the confidence of defence scientists who are preparing for the big launch of Agni-V, the inter-continental ballistic missile.
“All the technologies for the missile are in place and we hope to launch it in the next three to four months,” said Mr Avinash.