India successfully tests nuclear-capable missile
( dpa ) - India on Sunday successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile Agni-1 from a military base in the eastern state of Orissa, news reports said.
Agni-1, a short-range variant of the indigenously-developed Agni series of ballistic missiles, was test-fired from the launch site at Wheeler's Island, 150 kilometres east of state capital Bhubaneshwar, the PTI news agency reported quoting defence sources.
"It was the second user's trial of this sophisticated missile," a defence official associated with the trial told the PTI. The last trial of the Agni missile, named after the Hindu god of fire, was conducted on October 5, 2007 from the same launch site.
The indigenously built missile, which has a range of between 700 and 800 kilometres, was mounted on a mobile launcher and had a perfect launch from the Integrated Test Range at 10:15 am.
The 15-metre tall Agni-1 missile, weighing 12 tons, is capable of carrying conventional as well as nuclear warheads of 1,000 kilogrammes.
The report said that India's newly raised Strategic Forces Command and defence scientists carried out Sunday's trial to ensure familiarization with the end-user, a special missile group raised by the Indian Army.
The Agni series of missiles have been developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) under the country's Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). The first test of the Agni series was conducted in 1989.
Agni-II, which has a range of up to 2,000 kilometres, was first tested on April 11, 1999. In April last year, India successfully tested Agni-III, its longest-range missile, which can cover distances of more than 3,000 kilometres.