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Preparation on for testfire of Agni III missile

Written by: Staff
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Bhubasneswar, July 8 (UNI) The sophisticated ballistic missile Agni-III, having additional strike capability, is all set to be testfired from the Wheeler islands inside the Bay of Bengal close to Orissa Coast in the next couple of days.

Hyderebad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) has developed the missile, aimed at providing a flexible second strike capability to the country.

Agni-III was slated for the maiden launch in 2004, but the programme was plagued by technical snags forcing the DRDO to reschedule the launch. It was for the second time postponed in 2005 due to the same problem.

The missile with a range of more than 3,000 kms has a two-stage propulsion with an overall diameter of 1.8 meter and is considered a strategic asset as it has capability to carry conventional and nuclear warheads.

Although a test date for the missile was not declared, sources in the DRDO said the tests of the indigenous, long-range solid-fuel, nuclear-capable ballistic missile, is likely to be testfired any day from July 9 to July 12 from the Wheeler islands.

President A P J Abdul Kalam recently visited the island and held discussion with the DRDO scientists during his three-day stay in Orissa.

Agni III, sources said, is reported to have a maximum range of 5,000 km and supposed to have both first and second stages as solid-propellant motors similar to those used on Agni II, with a liquid or solid-propellant third stage.

Sources said over 300 scientists have already arrived in the Wheeler Island to witness the testfire of Agni-III.

UNI DP SJC MA ND1300

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