Missile (Representational Image)
Missile (Representational Image) Reuters

India's indigenously built nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile was successfully tested on Friday off Odisha's sea coast.

"The test-fire of the ballistic missile was fully successful," said M V K V Prasad, Integrated Test Range (ITR) director, reported PTI.

The missile was tested by the Strategic Force Command of the India Army on Wheeler Island in Odisha at 09:33 am from launch pad-4 of the ITR. Agni-I is a short range and surface missile that has the range of 700-1200 km. The missile is powered by solid and liquid propellants lending it a capability of cruising at a speed of 2.5 km per second.  

The ballistic missile is said to have a specialised navigation system, which enables it with high attack capability and make precise targets. Agni-I, which weighs about 12 tonnes and is 15 metres long, can carry a nuclear warhead and a conventional weapon of about 1,000 kg.

It was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory in collaboration with Defence Research Development Laboratory and Research Centre Imarat. The missile was integrated by Bharat Dynamics Limited based in Hyderabad.  

It has been inducted into the Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army. The test is said to be a practice exercise. It is designed to bridge the gap between the indigenously built short range missile Prithvi with a range up to 350 km and Agni-II that has a range of 2000 km. The missile is built out of technology demonstrations by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Agni I was developed after Agni-II since there was a need for a short to intermediate range missile after the Kargil conflict.

It is the first among the five Agni missiles. The development of this missile began as early as 1989 when it was tested for the first time in Chandipur, Odisha. The Agni missile series is part of DRDO's Integrated Missile Programme.