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India successfully test fires Agni-I

January 09, 2003 18:13 IST
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India on Thursday successfully test fired AGNI-I missile from the launch complex of the Wheeler's Island located in the Bay of Bengal, off the Orissa coast, defence sources said.

The test firing took place at around 0847 IST.

The surface-to-surface missile was test fired in clear weather from a mobile launcher and it was a "smooth text-book
flight," the sources said.

This short-range missile has a striking range of about 700 km and its first trial was conducted on January 25 last year from the same complex.

The AGNI missile was first test flown from the Interim Test Range at the beach resort of Chandipur-on-sea, 15 km from Balasore on May 22, 1989.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation, which had launched its Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme in the 1980's, described the IGMDP as a technology demonstrator.

Ignoring criticism from certain countries including Pakistan, India again conducted two more Agni tests on May 29, 1992 and February 19, 1994 to gauge the missile's various parameters.

The first extended version of the Agni, having a range of 2,000 km was test fired on April 11, 1999.

The missile, which was known as Agni-II, having a re-entry launch vehicle, was considered a milestone in the country's missile development programme.

A second test firing of the longer-range Agni was conducted on January 17, 2001.

Defence sources described the present series of Agni-I as a bridge between Prithvi-II (250 km range) and Agni-II which was capable of striking a target 2,000 km away.

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