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Agni-II’s night test fails

November 25, 2009

NEW DELHI – The first night test of India’s nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-II missile Monday turned out to be a failure, an army official said Tuesday.

The surface-to-surface missile with a range of 2,000-plus kilometres was tested from Wheeler’s Island – a launch site in Orissa’s Bhadrak district, about 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, at about 7.50 p.m. Monday.

“The take off and first phase separation went off smoothly. However, the second stage booster failed to function,” a senior army official said, requesting anonymity.

“The inquiry into the further causes of the failure is on,” he added.

The test was a user trial to give the Army confidence to fire the missile whenever it was required.

The Agni-II missile, which is a part of India’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, is 20 metres long and can carry a 1,000 kg payload.

The missile weighs 17 tonnes and its range can be increased to 3,000 km by reducing the payload.

The Agni-II version of the Agni-series of missiles was first test fired in 1999 from the same location.

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