(Web Desk) – Indian army’s “nuclear-capable” Agni-III missile on Saturday failed its maiden night test launch and crashed into the sea shortly after launch, according to reports by Indian media.
The missile plunged into the sea after the first-stage separation and it was launched from Abdul Kalam Island off India’s Odisha coast.
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.
“Staring from the launch to the first phase separation, everything was smooth in accordance with the mission plan. But suddenly it started behaving abnormally.”
"It could possibly be due to metallurgical defects,” it added. The missile, which could carry both conventional and nuclear warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, had already been inducted in the inventory back in 2011.
An initial investigation points to a ‘manufacturing defect’ in the missile.
Weapon systems produced in India usually suffer from low workmanship and suffer from poor maintenance standards prevalent across the Indian military.
The Agni-III ballistic missile is claimed by Indian military of having a capability of hauling conventional and nuclear warheads, weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, to a reported range of more than 2,000kms.
Two other variants of the missile, Agni-I and Agni-II, have failed during both development and user trials in the past. Agni-II had failed to deliver desired result during its first night trial in 2009.