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AgniOn the eve of the Republic Day, India successfully test-fired a short-range variant of the Agni ballistic missile. The surface-to-surface missile was launched from the Island Test Range off the Orissa coast at 0845 hrs. The mission objectives were fully met as confirmed by data from the network of ground radars, telemetry stations and visual observations from the naval ships positioned near the intended impact point.

Significantly, this solid-propellant Agni variant can be fired from road-mobile launchers and has a range of around 800 km. The missile uses a solid fuel as propellant and consist of single-stage rocket. The variant, as in the case of other missiles in the Agni family, can carry a one tonne warhead. Agni variant should necessarily fill the void in the range between the Prithvi-Il and Agni-II missiles. Since it is road-mobile, it can easily be moved to forward areas ahead of the last rail-head.

The launch was witnessed by Shri George Fernandes, Defence Minister; Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy, Chief of the Air Staff; Dr VK Aatre, Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Director General Research & Development; Dr AS Pillai, Chief Controller Research & Development (MNS), other senior officers from the Armed Forces and DRDO. The Defence Minister congratulated the scientists and staff of DRDO and other partners. He expressed his happiness that the mission was flawless and enhanced India's capability in deployment of such surface-to-surface missile systems.