India successfully test-fires Agni-IV missile

India, on Sunday (December 23, 2018), successfully test-fired its strategic surface-to-surface Agni-IV nuclear ballistic missile from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) complex-4 based in Dr. Abdul Kalam Island, in close proximity to Odisha’s coast. The missile was launched at 8:3 AM in the morning. This was the seventh flight test for the Agni-IV class of missiles- with the success meaning that the programme is inching closer to completion.

Agni-IV bears a firing range of four thousand kilometres (4,000 km), and comes bundled with a strike precision of a hundred metres. Furthermore, the missile has advanced avionics, and fifth-generation on-board computer systems to guide its trajectory en route the target spot. These latest systems comprise the Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the highly reliable Micro Navigation System (MINGS). The last trial was also successful, and was conducted on 2nd January, 2018 by the Strategic Forces Command of the Army. The very first of the Agni series, Agni-I, was test fired in 1989 and was developed under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

While Agni-I, II, and III were medium range ballistic missiles (MRBMs), Agni-IV is an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). Agni-V, currently scheduled for testing and Agni-VI, now under development, are proposed ICBMs (inter-continental), with the strike range of Agni-VI expected to be around 8,000 to 10,000 kilometres.

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