India successfully tested the 4,000 km range Agni-IV , which is yet another nuclear-capable missile meant for deterrence against China, from the APJ Abdul Kalam (formerly Wheeler) Island off Odisha coast on Monday .
The two-stage Agni-IV's user-trial from a road-mobile launcher by the tri-service Strategic Forces Command (SFC) comes after the three-stage Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile, with a strike range of well over 5,000 km, was test fired on December 26.
While the Agni-I (700 km), Agni-II (2,000 km) and Agni-III (3,000 km) have already been inducted by SFC, the Agni IV and Agni V are currently undergoing test-firings and user trials before their full scale induction can take place over the next two to three years.
The 20 metre-long Agni IV had undergone six tests since December 2010, the first of which had failed in its earlier avatar as the “Agni II Prime“ in December 2010.All tests since then have been successful. The Agni V in turn, has been successfully tested four times, and will now undergo at least two user-trials by the SFC before serial production and induction can kick off.
The road-mobile Agni IV and Agni V are aimed at building deterrence capabilities against China, which can target any Indian city with its formidable inventory of long-range missiles, while the short-range Prithvi and medium-range Agni missiles were primarily designed with Pakistan in mind. The 17-tonne Agni IV incorporates state-of-art avionics, 5th generation on-board computer, highly accurate ring laser gyrobased inertial navigation system and supported by reliable, redundant micro-navigation system say officials.