In a big embarrassment, Indian nuclear missile maiden night test launch failed
NEW DELHI – The maiden night test of Indian nuclear-capable Agni-III missile failed on Saturday after it crashed into the sea in Odisha, the Indian media reported.
According the Indian Express, the missile deviated from its flight path and the mission team had to terminate it.
“Starting from the launch to the first phase separation, everything was smooth in accordance with the mission plan but suddenly it started behaving abnormally. It could possibly be due to metallurgical defects,” it added.
The report also said that the missile, which could carry both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, had already been inducted in the inventory back in 2011.
The launch took place at 9:12am local time (03:42 GMT) from Abdul Kalam Island, off of the Odisha coast.
Agni-III has a strike range of more than 3,000 km and capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes.
The missile is powered by a two-stage solid propellant engine. With a length of 17 meters, the missile’s diameter is 2 meters and weight is around 2,200 kg.
The test rocket was launched by the Strategic Forces Command unit of the India army.