Defence Research And Development Organisation Officials Are Planning Missiles Launches Before the Year Ends

Two months after its embarrassing failure in the test firing ofnuclear-weapons capable, surface-to-surface Prithvi-II ballisticmissile from Chandipur in Orissa, the Defence Research DevelopmentOrganisation officials are planning a slew of high-profile missilelaunches before the year ends.

On September 24, the Prithvi-II missile with amaximum range of 350 km dropped off a few seconds after it was firedfrom a mobile launcher from Integrated Test Range in Chandipur-on-seaof Orissa. DRDO so far has been silent on the failure on the missilewhich has been inducted into the Army.
DRDO sources said that on November 25, the nuclear-capable andsurface-to-surface single stage Agni-I missile would be test-fired bypersonnel of the Strategic Forces Command as part of Indian Army'suser-training exercise from Wheeler Island on Bay of Bengal. The missile was last successfully test-fired on March 28. Like Prithvi-II, Agni-I has also been inducted into the Army. Themissile which has a range of 700 km, can carry payloads weighing up to1000 kg. Agni-1, with its rail and road mobility can target most citiesin Pakistan without having to be launched from the border. Agni-I isdesigned to bridge the gap between indigenously built short-rangePrithvi, already deployed in the Army, and medium range Agni-II, thathas a range of more than 2,000 km. 
On December 2, DRDO would test-fire supersonic cruise missile Brahmosthat has a range of 290 kms. It was last tested successfully onSeptember 5.
Similarly, the 2,000 km plus range surface-to-surfacenuclear-capable missile Agni-II would be test-fired from Wheeler Islandbetween December 8 and 12. The missile was last testedsuccessfully on May 17 this year after two successive failures lastyear. The 20-metre long Agni-II is a two stage, solid-propelledballistic missile. It has a launch weight of 17 tonnes and can carry apayload of 1000 kg over a distance of 2000 km. In February this year, the 3,500-km plus range Agni-III was also successfully test-fired.

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