Nuclear-capable Agni-1 successfully test firedMarch 23rd, 2008 - 7:46 pm ICT by admin
(Lead, changing dateline)
New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) The nuclear-capable Agni-1, a strategic 700-km range surface-to-surface missile, was successfully test fired from the Island Launch Complex off Dhamra in Orissa Sunday, the defence ministry announced. An operational unit of the Indian Army’s Strategic Force Command that has inducted the missile conducted the launch at 10.15 a.m. Sunday.
“The missile had a textbook performance in terms of range, accuracy and lethality,” a defence ministry statement said.
The Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), a premier missile development laboratory of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), developed Agni-1 in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Laboratory, the Research Center Imarat, and defence public sector undertaking Bharat Dynamics Limited.
“This has been an effort of a consortium of DRDO labs like the Vehicle Research & Development Establishment, the Interim Test Range at Chandipur and major public and private industries,” the statement said.
According to Avinash Chander, programme director of the Agni family of missiles and ASL director, “The performance of all the subsystems of A-1 like explicit guidance, re-entry structures, avionics and payload “has been outstanding, confirming the robustness and maturity of DRDO’s long range missile technology”.
“The test is a major milestone in the preparedness of the army in the strategic deployment of the A-1 system,” he added.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju and V.K. Saraswat, DRDO’s chief controller of R&D, “have congratulated the scientists and the operations team of Strategic Force Command for their outstanding achievements and adding yet another milestone in the preparedness of the country in the area of strategic defence”, the statement said.
The Agni family is among the five missile systems DRDO has developed under its prestigious integrated missile development programme (IGMDP) that has seen the development of four systems, with user trials of an anti-tank system scheduled for later this year.
According to Prahlada, also a chief controller of research and development at (DRDO), 2008 would see “the dream of (former president A.P.J.) Abdul Kalam coming to a happy end”.
Kalam, as the DRDO head in the 1980s, was the chief architect of indigenously designing and developing missiles like Prithvi (range of 200 km), Agni-I, II and III intermediate range ballistic missiles, the Akash and Trishul air defence systems, and the Nag anti-tank missile.
With the Agni, Prithvi, Trishul and Akash systems either deployed or ready for deployment and the Nag missile to be ready by the end of the year, the DRDO will be concluding the IGMDP and focusing on next-generation missiles with foreign collaboration, Prahlada said earlier this year.
The scientist said DRDO would henceforth need only five to six years to develop a missile system as compared to two decades by opting for technological tie-ups with Indian industry and foreign countries.
More than 16 countries were eager to join hands with the DRDO for joint development and manufacture of top-of-the-line defence systems, Prahlada added.