SFC Current Affairs
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.
Nuclear capable surface-to-surface Agni-IV missile was successfully test-fired by the Indian Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
This was overall the fifth test of the Agni IV missile and earlier it had undergone 1 failed and 4 successful tests over the past five years. The last successful test was conducted in December 2014.
- The test missile was test fired from a road-mobile launcher from Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island) off the Odisha coast in the Bay of Bengal. The test was spearheaded by India’s missile woman Ms. Tessy Thomas.
- The missile has met all the mission parameters and was monitored by all radar stations, telemetry and electro-optical systems along the East Coast during the entire operation.
- During the test, the missile accelerated to a height of about 600 km. While, re-entering the atmosphere the re-entry heat shield of missile with a dummy payload withstood 4000 degree Centigrade temperatures and splashed down near the pre-designated.
About Agni-IV Missile
- Agni-IV is a surface-to-surface missile and is capable of hitting a target at a distance of 4,000 km.
- Missile features: The two-stage solid-propelled missile is about 20 metres tall and weighs 17 tonnes.
- It is equipped with modern and advanced ring laser gyro-based Inertial Navigation system (RINS).
- The missile is supported by highly reliable redundant micro navigation system (MINGS) which gives it two-digit accuracy.
- It is also equipped with 5th generation onboard computer with a distributed architecture.
Agni Missile Series
SFC already has inducted three Agni series strategic missiles which gives India an effective deterrence capability. Inducted missiles are Agni-I (700 km), Agni-II (2,000 km) and Agni-III (3,000 km). Currently, Agni-IV (4,000 km) and Agni-V (5,000 km) are undergoing developmental and user trials for their induction.