Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Indian Agni-3 Has Successful Fourth Launch


Aerospace Daily & Defense Report Feb 09 , 2010 , p. 08
Neelam Mathews

NEW DELHI — India’s long-range Agni-3 missile was successfully flight tested by the Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) at 10:50 a.m. Feb. 7 from Wheeler Island, in the Bay of Bengal off the coast of Odisha in East India.

Agni-3 was tested for its full 3,500-kilometer (2,200-mile) range, hit its target and met all the mission objectives, according to a DRDO statement. Two downrange ships located near the target tracked and witnessed the missile impact.

The Agni-3 missile is 17 meters long with a 2-meter diameter and features a two-stage solid propellant system with a payload capability of 1.5 metric tons. During the course of flight the missile reached a peak altitude of 350 kilometers and re-entered into the atmosphere, successfully tolerating surface temperatures of nearly 3,000 degrees Celsius.

V.K. Saraswat, scientific advisor to the defense minister and director general of DRDO, was quoted as saying the flight marked a hat trick for Agni-3, with three successes. The planned trajectory was followed exactly, he said.

In May 1989, India test fired its first intermediate-range ballistic missile, the Agni. It was a two-stage missile, with the first stage using the first-stage solid-fuel booster motor of the first experimental Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) developed in 1980. This was the first time India had directly used a component of its civilian space research program for military purposes.

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