The maiden night trial of India’s “nuclear-capable” Agni-III missile ended in failure on Saturday after it crashed into the sea in Odisha, Indian media reported. Quoting a source, the Indian newspaper reported that 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,” the source was quoted as saying. The report 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 test was considered ‘very crucial’ as it was to reconfirm the technical parameters set for the user and its readiness to handle the weapon during night hours. Two other variants of the missile, Agni-I and Agni-II, have failed during both development and user trials in the past. Agni-II had failed to deliver desired result during its first night trial in 2009.
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