BHUBANESWAR: After a lull of more than three months due to the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic leading to restriction in movement of manpower, material and machinery, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is back in action.
The premier defence agency is readying for the trial of a new Agni series missile early next week. Defence sources said the brand new missile, a variant of Agni-I, will be flight tested from a defence facility off Odisha coast any time between June 28 and 29. Initially christened as 'Agni Prime', the missile will have a strike range of 1,000 km to 1,500 km.
Preparation is in full swing at the test facility for the past over a week amid the COVID restrictions. "Missile assembling and integration with the launcher, exclusively developed for the missile, are nearing end. A notice to airmen (Notam) has already been issued for the scheduled test of the missile. If everything goes as per plan, the weapon will be test fired on Monday," the source told The New Indian Express.
A defence official associated with the Agni project said the state-of-the-art Agni Prime has been developed with the cutting-edge technologies used in 4,000-km range Agni-IV and 5,000-km Agni-V missiles.
The two-stage and solid fuelled missile will be guided by the inertial navigation systems based on advanced ring-laser gyroscopes. Its both stages have composite rocket motors and guidance systems are equipped with electromechanical actuators.
"The Agni Prime will be two-stage unlike the single-stage Agni-I and will have a canister version to be fired from both road and rail mobile launchers. The sleek missile that weighs less than that of the previous variant due to the integration of new technologies will be more lethal in terms of power and killing ability," the official said, refusing to divulge more specifications of the weapon.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)