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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Snag in India's Agni-III missile to be examined: defence minister

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, July 10, IRNA
India-Agni-III-Defence minister
The snag developed in the Agni-III that caused the missile to miss its target would be thoroughly examined, said the Indian defence minister.

The reason behind the snag would be explored and the faults corrected, Mukherjee told reporters in Berhampore district of West Bengal state Sunday evening, a PTI report said here.

Meanwhile, sources in the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), which developed the missile and launched it, said complete details of the test-firing would be known in "a day or two."
However, DRDO said more trials of the IRBM missile would be conducted in months ahead to make it full-proof.

"We will have to carry out more tests of the missile in the coming months," scientists said.

India's most advanced intermediate range surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-III was test-fired from Wheeler Island off Orissa coast in presence of the defence minister but it developed a snag and failed to hit the target.

This was the first launch of the Agni-III, the most sophisticated product of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme that started in 1983. Testing of the missile has been repeatedly put off since November 2004 for a variety of reasons, including for technical problems.

The Agni missile, initially with a range of 700km to 800km, was first tested from the range at Chandipur-on-Sea on May 22, 1989 in the presence of then Defence Minister K C Pant. This was followed by two more launches on May 29, 1992 and February 19, 1994.

Agni-II, with the capability to hit targets 2,000km away, was first fired from the new range at Wheeler Island on April 11, 1999 using a rail mobile platform.

Agni-I was twice launched from Wheeler Island on January 9,2003 and July 4, 2004.

The sleek 20-meter Agni-II was tested from the island again on August 29, 2004 with a range of 1200km.

Both Agni-I and Agni-II have been inducted into the Army as part of the country's minimum nuclear deterrent.

Both missiles have boosters developed by the Indian Space Research Organization.


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