India’s first night-time test of a medium-range missile was a failure, missing its target, a defense ministry official said Tuesday.
India test fired the surface-to-surface “Agni-II” (Fire) missile from Wheelers Island in the eastern state of Orissa on Monday.
“It couldn’t hit the target,” the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in line with ministry rules.
“The liftoff was smooth, even the first stage of separation was smooth. But there was some problem during the second stage of separation and it deviated from its coordinated path,” the official said.
The Agni-II, with a range of up to 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers), is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms), the official said.
India has a variety of missiles including the short-range Prithvi ballistic missile, the medium-range Akash, and the supersonic Brahmos.
India’s missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with neighboring archrival Pakistan, but the Agni-II can put areas in southern China within striking range.
India’s previous missile tests have been done during the day.
“The Indian army wants to confirm a 24-hour operational cycle and to be able to fire under the cover of darkness,” said Rahul Bedi, a defense analyst with Jane’s Defense Weekly.
Monday’s test is unlikely to aggravate tensions between India and Pakistan as they both routinely test fire missiles.
It was not immediately known whether New Delhi informed Islamabad about Monday’s test, which is the normal practice.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two over control of the Himalayan region of Kashmir.
BALASORE: India’s nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-II missile, test-fired for the first time after sunset on Monday, reportedly failed to get the desired results.
The Army test-fired the surface-to-surface Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from Wheeler’s Island, Bhadrak district, around 7.50pm.‘‘The liftoff and the first stage separation was smooth. But it faltered just before the second stage separation and behaved erratically, deviating from its coordinated path. Further analysis is on to ascertain the cause,’’ said a source.
The entire trajectory of Monday’s trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and a naval ship.
The launch, originally scheduled in the first week of this month, was deferred due to some technical snags in its pneumatic system. Though the snags were rectified, another glitch surfaced during Monday’s test, leading to the fiasco, the source claimed.
The nuclear capable 2,000-km-plus range missile has a length of 20 meters, a diameter of one meter, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of around 1,000 kg. It was first tested on April 11, 1999.
The test launch was significant from India’s strategic point of view because for the first time since the beginning of DRDO’s missile development programme, a missile was put under trial during night. The user trial was conducted by Army officials while scientists from DRDO were present to provide necessary logistical support.
and on and on…..