The first night trial of the nuclear-capable Agni-III surface-to-surface ballistic missile was carried out from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range at the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast on Saturday. The flight test of the intermediate-range missile, which has a strike range of over 3,500 km, was part of a user trial by the Army. The missile, which has a length of 17 m, diameter of 2 m and launch weight of around 50 tonnes, has been already inducted into the armed forces. The trial was carried out by the Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army with logistic support from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at launch complex-4 of the ITR at about 1920 hrs. It is powered by a two-stage solid propellant system and is capable of carrying a warhead of 1.5 tonnes which is protected by carbon all composite heat shield. Agni-III is equipped with hybrid navigation, guidance, and control systems along with advanced on-board computer. The electronic systems are hardened for higher vibration, thermal and acoustic effects.
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