Balasore: Smarting over the twin failures of its 2,000 km intermediate range ballistic missile, Agni-II in separate tests this year, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) is now pressing ahead to test both Agni-II as well as the longer range, 3,500 km, Agni-III missiles. The organisation says the reasons for the failure were related to production glitches.
User test trials of the Agni-II conducted by the Indian Army in May and November this year had failed. In the last test, officials said, a technical snag developed at the time of the ignition of the second stage and its flex nozzle did not function properly.
According to sources, the user trial of the Agni-II will be followed by a developmental trial of the country's 3500-km range Agni-III. Both Agni-II and Agni-III can strike deep inside Chinese territory.
The Agni-III is a two-stage missile that can carry conventional and nuclear payloads of about 1.5 tonnes. It is propelled by solid fuels, which allows for swifter deployment, as compared to liquid fuelled missiles.
''Agni-II has already been inducted in the armed forces. Even though the Agni-III is said to be ready for induction but still it will require two or three more tests before it can go for limited series production (LSP) trials by the armed forces. However, two years more will be required for its operational deployment,'' the sources added.