India tests Agni-I – all set for further missile tests news
Bhubaneswar: India on Thursday successfully tested its nuclear capable, surface-to-surface, Agni I missile from a test range in Orissa. The missile, which has a range of 700 km, was tested as part of ongoing user-trials by the Strategic Command of the Indian Army from the permanent test facilities located at Wheeler Island, about 200 km from here, defence sources said.
Originally designed with a range of 700 km, the current test apparently will see the Agni-I fly over an extended range. Though nothing has been said, it is very likely that a special coating developed by Indian scientists, which reduces the friction and resultant drag upon missiles re-entering the atmosphere, may have been applied to the missile.
Weighing 12 tonnes, the 15 metre tall Agni-1 can carry payloads weighing up to one tonne. The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile is powered by solid propellants. The missile can carry a one ton nuclear payload to most targets in Pakistan without having to be deployed at the borders.
This last factor makes it less vulnerable to counter-strikes as compared to the Prithvi series of surface-to-surface missiles, which have a maximum range of 350km.
Agni-I incorporates new guidance and control systems and there are also significant improvements in its re-entry technology and manoeuvrability.
The Agni-1 is both road and rail mobile.
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