Balasore, May 7 : India successfully flight tested the long range surface-to-surface Agni-III Ballistic missile at 9:56 a.m. today from the Wheeler Island, about 12 kms from Dhamra off Orissa Coast.
The missile is capable of carrying nuclear warheads to a range of more than 3,000 kms.
Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) sources said the missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex (LC-4) of the integrated test range (ITR).
Scenes of jubilation were witnessed in the Block House of Missile launch centre immediately after the Mission Director Avinash Chander announced that the launch was successful.
The launch has propelled India into a select group of countries with intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) capabilities and added yet another dimension to the national deterrence.
The Missile system is equipped with sophisticated Navigation, Guidance and Control systems along with advanced distributed architecture based On Board Computer Systems.
The Missile was tracked by various telemetry stations, electro optic systems and radars located along the coast, Port Blair and by the downrange ships positioned near the target location. The data from the various stations is transmitted in real time through an advanced communication network of DRDO for online performance evaluation and range safety.
This is the third flight test in the series of AGNI-3, which was carried out to establish the repeatability of Missile performance.
The 17-metre long and 2-metres diameter AGNI 3 Missile, is a two stage solid propellant system with a launch weight of 50 tons and carries a payload of 1.5 tons.
The Mission Director declared that the launch met all the Mission objectives and said the system is ready for induction.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has congratulated the Mission Director and all the scientists of DRDO for the successful launch of AGNI 3.
The successful launch was witnessed by Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister M. Natarajan, Advisor to Defence Minister Sundaram Krishnan, Deputy National Security Advisor Shekhar Dutt, Chief Controller (R and D) Dr V.K. Saraswat, and other senior officials of the Defence Forces.