NEW DELHI: India successfully tested the new-generation nuclear capable Agni-Prime ballistic missile, which has a strike range from 1,000 to 2,000-km, from the Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on Wednesday night.
This was the “first pre-induction night launch” of the Agni-Prime conducted by the tri-service Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which handles the country’s nuclear arsenal, and “validated the accuracy and reliability of the system”, a defence ministry official said on Thursday.
“During the flight test, all objectives were successfully demonstrated. Range instrumentation like radar, telemetry and electro-optical tracking systems were deployed at different locations, including two down-range ships at the terminal point, to capture flight data covering the entire trajectory of the vehicle,” he added.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and the armed forces for the “copy-book performance” of the new-generation missile, while DRDO chairman Dr Samir V Kamat appreciated the efforts involved in the test launch.
The latest Agni-Prime test comes after three successful developmental trials of the two-stage missile since June 2021. Once inducted, the solid propellant fuelled Agni-Prime, which is the smallest and lightest among the entire Agni series of ballistic missiles, will further bolster India’s strategic deterrence capabilities.
As reported by TOI earlier, Agni-Prime incorporates new propulsion systems and composite rocket motor casings as well as advanced navigation and guidance systems. Significantly, it is also a canister-launch system like the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the over 5,000-km Agni-V, which is now in the process of being inducted by the SFC.
A canister-launch missile — with the warhead already mated with the missile — gives the armed forces the requisite operational flexibility to store it for long periods, swiftly transport it through rail or road when required, and fire it from wherever they want.
The Agni-Prime will gradually replace the Agni-I (700-km) missiles in the arsenal of SFC, which also has the Prithvi-II (350-km), Agni-II (2,000-km), Agni-III (3,000-km) and Agni-4 (4,000-km) ballistic missiles.

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