India took yet another step in bolstering its nuclear reach by successfully test-firing Agni-IV, a strategic missile with a strike range of around 4000km. The test was conducted at a range on Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.
Defence sources said the indigenously developed surface-to-surface, nuclear-capable missile was tested with the aid of a mobile launcher from the Integrated Test Range at about 11.35am.
The missile zeroed in on to the pre-designated target in the Bay of Bengal ater a flight of about 20 minutes, sources said.
DRDO sources said radars were installed at Puri, Paradeep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands to monitor the missile’s trajectory. A computer with avionic software and high speed reliable communication capability was used to control and guide the missile to the target, sources said.
The missile is lighter in weight than others in the category and has a two-stage solid propulsion system. The payload has a re-entry heat shield, a defence scientist said.
Defence sources said Agni-IV is a modified version of the Agni-II strategic missile and was originally called Agni-II Prime whose first test in December 10 last year failed. While Agni-II Prime had a range of 2,750km and the capability to carry 1,000 kg payload, Agni-IV can carry an 800kg warhead.