The Indian military’s Agni-III ballistic missile failed its maiden night test launch and crashed into the sea shortly after launch, reported Indian media.
The missile plunged into the sea after the first-stage separation. It was launched from Abdul Kalam Island off India’s Odisha coast.
The Agni-III ballistic missile is capable of hauling conventional and nuclear warheads, weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, to a reported range of more than 2,000kms.
“The missile traveled around 115 km into its initial flight trajectory when things went awry. It deviated from the flight path forcing the mission team to terminate it midway,” Indian media quoted ‘highly placed’ sources.
An initial investigation points to a ‘manufacturing defect’ in the missile. If true, it is another setback for the Narendra Modi-led ‘Made in India’ initiative. Weapon systems produced in India usually suffer from low workmanship and suffer from poor maintenance standards prevalent across the Indian military.
Nuclear-capable: Pakistan test-launches ballistic missile
“It could be possibly due to metallurgical defects,” added sources.
“Staring from the launch to the first phase separation, everything was smooth in accordance with the mission plan. But suddenly it started behaving abnormally.”
In 2009, the variants of the missile system, Agni-I, and Agni-II have failed to deliver results during trails.