India has carried out a successful training launch of Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile, Agni-4.
- The test was carried out from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha. The launch validated all operational parameters as also the reliability of the system.
- The successful test was part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command.
What is a ‘ballistic missile’?
- A ballistic missile follows a ballistic trajectory to deliver one or more warheads on a predetermined target.
- A ballistic trajectory is the path of an object that is launched but has no active propulsion during its actual flight (these weapons are guided only during relatively brief periods of flight).
- Consequently, the trajectory is fully determined by a given initial velocity, effects of gravity, air resistance, and motion of the earth (Coriolis Force).
- Shorter range ballistic missiles stay within the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Longer-ranged intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), are launched on a sub-orbital flight trajectory and spend most of their flight out of the atmosphere.
About the Agni-4 —
- Agni IV has a range of 4000 km.
- A derivative of the Agni-II medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), Agni IV is a two-stage missile.
- The first flight of Agni-IV took place in December 2010. The second test was carried out in November 2011.
- The nuclear-capable missile reportedly has an accuracy of less than 100 meters at a range of 4000 km.
- The Agni series of missiles includes Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni- III, Agni-IV, and Agni-V. The range of these missiles is between 700 km to 5000 km and are aimed at providing deterrence to the enemy.
About ‘Strategic Forces Command’ –
- The SFC is a tri-Service command that forms part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).
- It was created on January 4, 2003 by an executive order of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- Function – It is responsible for the management and administration of the country’s tactical and strategic nuclear weapons stockpile.
- It is headed by a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal.