India on 20th February test-fired its medium range nuclear capable Agni-II missile with a strike range of 2,000km from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast. The Agni (missile) family is envisaged to be the mainstay of the Indian missile-based strategic nuclear deterrence. Agni-II is a strategic ballistic missile. The Agni-IIA is a more advanced version of Agni-II, albeit with more sophisticated and lighter materials, yielding a better range and operating regime. The Agni’s manoeuvring RV is made of a carbon-carbon composite material that is light and able to sustain high thermal stresses of re-entry, in a variety of trajectories.
1. The missile is part of the Agni series of missiles which includes the Agni-I with a 700 km range, Agni-III with a 3,000 km range, Agni-IV and Agni-V both having long range capabilities.
2. The first prototype of the Agni-II missile was carried out on 11 April 1999 and last launch was a user’s trial on 4 May 2017.
3. The state-of-the-art missile, already a part of the country’s arsenal for strategic deterrence, was launched as a training exercise by the armed forces.
4. The entire trajectory of the trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and two naval ships located near the impact point in the down range area of the Bay of Bengal.
5. Agni-II was developed by the Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other DRDO laboratories and integrated by the Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad.
6. The Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) has already been inducted into the services and test was carried out by the Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) with logistic support provided by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
7. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile was conducted from a mobile launcher at the Launch Complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at around 8.38am.
8. The Agni’s manoeuvring RV is made of a carbon-carbon composite material that is light and able to sustain high thermal stresses of re-entry, in a variety of trajectories.