India test fires Agni-IV surface-to-surface ballistic missile

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India test-fired its ballistic missile Agni-IV on 9 November, from a test range off the Odisha coast from Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island. The nuclear-capable strategic missile is capable of hitting a target at 4,000 km.

The indigenously developed surface-to-surface missile is a two-stage weapon system, which is 20 metre-long and weighs 17 tonne. Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the army conducted the trial.

“The missile is equipped with the latest avionics so as to provide a high level of reliability,” said Defence Research and Development Organisation ( DRDO) sources.

The missile has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances, said defence sources.

This was the fifth trial of Agni-IV missile. The last trial conducted by the SFC of the army on December 2, 2014 was successful.

The re-entry heat shield can withstand temperatures up to 4,000°C and makes the avionics function normally with inside temperature remaining less than 50°C.

Radars and electro-optical systems were positioned along the coast of Odisha for tracking and monitoring the missile, sources said, adding two Indian naval ships were also positioned nearby the target area.

Agni-I, II and III and Prithvi are already in the arsenal of the armed forces providing the country an effective deterrence capability.

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