New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) After its ''Golden Launch'' today, the nuclear capable 3,500-km surface-to-surface 'China-specific' Agni-III missile was now ready for induction into India's strategic forces.
The successful launch in the golden jubilee year of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has also propelled India into a select group of countries with intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) capabilities and added yet another dimension to the national deterrence.
This was the third test of the missile. The first test conducted on July 9, 2006 at the same location failed as the missile fell short of the target. The second test was conducted on April 12 last year.
The test fire of AGNI-III missile system to a range of 3000 km at 0956 hrs from the Wheeler Island, about 12 km from Dhamra off Orissa Coast, was a text book launch and followed the trajectory with single digit guidance accuracy, a defence spokesman said here.
All the subsystems of the missile functioned in a copybook manner giving an outstanding integrated performance of the missile in terms of range and accuracy, he added.
The spokesman said the missile reached the pre-designated target in a time of 800 seconds, travelling through a peak height of 350 km with a velocity of more than 4000 mt/second.
Two Indian naval ships, positioned near the target location south of equator, confirmed the impact of the missile, he added.
This was the third flight test in the series of AGNI-III, carried out to establish the repeatability of missile performance.
Scenes of jubilation were witnessed in the block house of missile launch centre immediately after it was announced by the mission director that the launch was successful, he said, adding scientists hugged and congratulated each other on this historic occasion.
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