|12 April 2007|
|Ministry of Defence|
AGNI III LAUNCHED SUCCESSFULLY
Indian scientists today achieved a major milestone in missile technology when they successfully conducted the flight test of the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) – AGNI III from the Wheeler Island, off the coast of Orissa at 10.50 this morning. The 16 meter long missile weighing 48 tonnes, lifted off successfully from its Rail Mobile Launcher System leaving a trail of orange and yellow smoke. The missile which has a range of more than 3000 kms is capable of carrying a pay load of 1.5 Tonnes. The trajectory of AGNI III is computed by the onboard computer system based on the launch and target coordinates. During the flight the missile has no communication with the ground systems and is autonomous and fully `intelligent’ to reach its designated target. With this success, the design team is happy that the problems faced in the previous attempt on July 09 last year has been fully understood and solved.
The entire flight path of approx 15 minutes duration validated all mission objectives primarily to establish the performance of the two stage propulsion in flight and the flex nozzle control system being attempted by DRDO scientists for the very first time. The flight was tracked from ground stations at Dhamra, ITR, Balasore, Port Blair and two Indian Naval ships in the Indian Ocean. Shri M Natarajan, Scientific Advisor to Raksha Mantri made a specific reference to the achievement of high degree of self reliance in AGNI III, as most of the sub systems have been developed within the country with the synergy between DRDO – Industry (both Public and Private sector) and Academia. As per the Mission Director, Shri Avinash Chander, many “firsts” have been established by this launch, which includes the Flex Nozzle Controls of Rocket Motor during powered phase, specially developed composite propellant with high specific impulse for the rocket. Guidance and Control with built in fault tolerant avionics, withstanding of severe aero thermal environment experienced during the Re-entry phase and coordinated mission management.
The Defence Minister Shri AK Antony has congratulated the defence scientists on the successful launch and for achieving another important milestone in self-reliance in this critical strategic system. He also stated that India has matured in the missile technology area and was definitely at par with many other developed countries. AGNI III has confirmed India’s Strategic capability for minimum credible deterrence. Today’s historic event was witnessed by Shri Pallam Raju, Raksha Rajya Mantri, Shri M Natarajan, SA to RM and a host of senior officials of Ministry of Defence and Services.