India has successfully carried out a fresh user trial of Agni-III ballistic missile from a defence test facility in the Abdul Kalam Island. The Strategic Forces Command carried out the test with logistics support from Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
The objective of the test was to re-establish the operational effectiveness of the weapon system. Agni III was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011. Already several successful tests have been conducted making the missile a foolproof and a proven missile.
The missile has a two-stage solid propellant system and is capable of re-entering the atmosphere at a very high velocity. Agni-III is a rail mobile system capable missile and can be launched from various platforms anywhere in the country. The missile forms the mainstay of India’s nuclear deterrence programme as it provides the strategic second-strike capability.
Agni-III Ballistic Missile
Agni-III is an intermediate range (3,000 km to 5,000 km) missile with two stages. It is surface-to-surface nuclear capable intermediate-range ballistic missile indigenously developed by DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP). It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes. It is 17 metres tall and weighs about 48 tonnes. The missile has been equipped with the hybrid guidance, navigation and control systems along with an advanced onboard computer.
Strategic Forces Command (SFC)
The SFC is a specially raised missile-handling unit of the Indian Army. It forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA). It was created on January 4, 2003, by an executive order of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile. It is headed by a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal.
Abdul Kalam Island
To inspire youngsters to work dedicatedly for the scientific research, the state government of Odisha renamed the Wheeler Island in Bhadrak district as Abdul Kalam Island as a humble tribute to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Prior to the renaming, the island was named after an English commandant Lieutenant Wheeler.