India today test-fired its nuclear-capable strategic ballistic missile Agni-IV, capable of hitting a target at a distance of 4,000 kms, from a test range off the Odisha coast as part of a user trial by the armed forces.
Supported by a mobile launcher, the sleek missile was flight tested from the launch complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island, formerly known as Wheeler Island, at about 0945 hours, defence sources said.
The indigenously developed surface-to-surface Agni-IV missile is a two-stage weapon system. It is 20 metres long and weighs 17 tonnes. The trial was conducted by Strategic Force Command (SFC) of the army, they said.
"The sophisticated surface-to-surface missile is equipped with modern and compact avionics to provide high level of reliability," sources in Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.
Agni-IV missile is equipped with 5th generation onboard computer and distributed architecture. It has the latest features to correct and guide itself for in-flight disturbances, they said.
The most accurate ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system (RINS) and supported by highly reliable redundant micro navigation system (MINGS), ensures the vehicle reaches the target within two-digit accuracy.
The re-entry heat shield can withstand temperatures in the range of 4000 degrees centigrade and makes sure the avionics function normally with inside temperature remaining less than 50 degrees centigrade.
Agni-I, II and III and Prithvi are already in the arsenal of the armed forces, giving them reach of over 3000 kms and providing the country an effective deterrence capability, they said.
Radars and electro-optical systems were positioned along the coast of Odisha for tracking and monitoring all the parameters of the missile, the sources said, adding two Indian naval ships were anchored near the target area to witness the final event.
This was the fifth trial of Agni-IV missile. The last trial conducted by SFC of the army on December 2, 2014 was successful.