India testfires Agni-III ballistic missile

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Balasore, May 7: India today testfired the long-range nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface Agni-III ballistic missile, having a range of more than 3,500 km from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) on Wheeler Island, off the Orissa coast.

Official sources said this was the third test of the missile while the first test, conducted on July 9, 2006, failed to meet the mission objectives and the second trial, held on April 12, 2007, was a magnificent success. The first test of the two-stage, solid-fuelled Agni-III in July 2006 had failed, with scientists losing control of the missile over the Bay of Bengal barely 65 seconds into its flight.

However, the second test in April 2007 had been successful during its entire flight path of 15 minutes, the sources claimed. "The missile has been launched with the objective of a validation test for higher performance in terms of weight and payload capacity,'' the sources informed.


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