India on Friday morning successfully test-fired ‘Agni Prime’ – a new generation of ballistic missiles – from off the coast of Odisha. Defence officials said all test objectives were met and said that the third consecutive (and successful) test of the ‘Agni Prime’ had ‘established the accuracy and reliability of the system’.
Performance was validated using data obtained by many tracking systems, including radar, telemetry and electro-optical systems, the officials said.
These systems were deployed at different locations along the flight path, including two down-range ships at the terminal point, and covered the entire trajectory, officials added.
The first test was in June last year, with the second six months later – in December. On both those occasions too the missile ‘followed textbook trajectory and met all mission objectives with a high level of accuracy’, officials said.
The ‘Agni Prime’, or ‘Agni-P’, is a nuclear-capable new-gen advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles; it is a two-stage canisterised missile with a maximum range of 2,000 km.
Significantly, it weighs 50 per cent less than the Agni 3 missile and has new guidance and propulsion systems. In addition, since it is canisterised, it can be launched from rail or road, be stored for longer periods and can be transported as per operational requirements.
The successful test of the ‘Agni Prime’ underlines India’s endeavour for its defence sector to be self-reliant.
Prime minister Narendra Modi this week hailed steps taken in that regard.
“Eight years ago India was the world’s biggest defence importer… but the ‘new India’ has shown intent and resolve to ‘Make in India’ the success story of our defence sector,” the prime minister said while inaugurating DefExpo 2022 in Gandhinagar in poll-bound Gujarat.