Ballistic missile Current Affairs - 2019

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Nuclear capable Agni-III ballistic missile fails in maiden night trial

The first night trial of long-range nuclear capable Agni-III surface-to-surface Ballistic Missile was carried out at Integrated Test Range (ITR) at APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast. However, the Agni-III missile’s maiden night trial ended in ‘failure’. It is not the first failure of Agni series missile as in the past, two other variants of missile, Agni-I and Agni-II, have failed during both development and user trials.

Key Highlights

The Agni-III missile’s night trial failed as it tumbled into sea after first phase separation. The missile travelled around 115 km into its initial flight trajectory when things went wrong and deviated from flight path forcing mission team to terminate it midway.

The failure is being attributed to manufacturing defect in Agni missile after preliminary investigations, however, the exact technological fault behind ‘failure’ is yet to be ascertained which could be possibly due to metallurgical defects also.

The trial was conducted as part of user training exercise and was conducted by Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) provided all logistic support.

The test was considered very crucial as it was to reconfirm technical parameters set for user and its readiness to handle weapon during night hours. The flight trajectory of missile was set for nearly 2,800 km.

About Agni-III Misslie

It is developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and has already been inducted in Indian armed forces in 2011. Missile range covers all major cities of Pakistan and China.

Features: The missile is propelled by two-stage solid propellant and is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes. Missile is 17 metres tall and has a diameter of 2-metre, it weighs around 50 tonne.

India’s Nex-Gen Hypersonic Missiles: DRDO begins manufacturing

The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) begins manufacturing of hypersonic missiles. These missiles are five times faster than the speed of sound. DRDO is set to operate a wind tunnel to test and fine tune the technology

Significance

There is a race across the globe to possess hypersonic weapons technology. The US, Russia and China have already been testing the technology to improve their strategic nuclear deterrence and strengthen their front-line combat units. China had demonstrated that it has the technology. Other countries like US and Russia have been silent about it.

Hypersonic Weapons

The Hypersonic weapons are capable of carrying conventional and nuclear payloads at extreme speeds. This technology increases the survival against modern ballistic missile defence system. Though, the existing ballistic missile systems deliver loads at extremely high speeds, the hypersonic glided vehicles make tracking and interception impossible.