13:50 12th Dec, 2012
India Successfully Test-Fires Single-Stage Agni-I Nuclear-Capable Missile
Surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile was tested for full range of 700 km.
India successfully test-fired the Agni-I surface-to-surface ballistic missile from Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast, at 8:15 AM today. The short-range, single-stage missile with a range of 700 km was launched to test for its capability of traveling the distance, and also for its target accuracy. Launched by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) from a road mobile launcher, the entire operation was supervised by missile experts from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is said that the target was achieved. There is also an intermediate-range, two-stage version that can extend the range to 1200 km to reach deeper into enemy territory.
Fifteen metres tall and weighing 12 tonnes, the Agni-I is capable of carrying a 1 tonne nuclear or conventional warhead. It is claimed to be part of the "Minimum Credible Deterrence" doctrine, which essentially means that it is designed to be quickly deployed and launched via a rail or road mobile launcher — giving almost no time for the enemy to react. It flies at a hypersonic speed of Mach 7.5 (7.5 times the speed of sound), which comes to 2.5 km/s. Guided by a Ring Laser Gyro Inertial Navigational System that may also use GPS, the missile has got the tools to reach its intended target with pinpoint accuracy. It is powered by solid fuel, which means that it flies at an altitude low enough to receive a sustained supply of oxygen for combustion.
The Agni-I is handled by the 334 Missile Group at Secunderabad, and comes under the command of the SFC.
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