It has been confirmed by the DRDO that the test of the new nuclear capable missile has resulted in failure. Missile called Agni-II Plus ballistic missile was an upgraded version Agni-II to fill the gap between the 2000 km range Agni-II and 3500 km range Agni-III.
Just after few seconds into its flight missile Agni-II Plus/Prime ballistic missile fell from the sky and crashed in the ocean. Missile was launched from the famous Indian missile testing facility in the Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa, India.
Agni-II Plus ballistic missile is a two stage missile which uses the solid fuel. DRDO has confirmed the failure and said that it will need couple of days to establish the basic reasons of Agni-II Plus malfunction in the test.
India has already successfully conducted the test firing of the Agni 1 ballistic missile which can carry nuclear warheads. Agni-I ballistic missile has a range of 750 km and it can carry a nuclear warhead of 1000 kg.
India is also developing Agni-V ballistic missile which is likely to conduct its first flight in next year. Agni-V ballistic missile is planned to have a range of 5,000 km.
Agni-II Plus missile will be used along with Agni-I, Agni-II and Agni-III to form the land based part of the Indian strategic nuclear forces aimed against Pakistan and China.
India has also started the production of the K-15 ballistic missile which can be launched from the submarines. K-15 Sagarika submarine-launched ballistic missile can carry nuclear warheads upto a distance of 700km.
India plans to use this missile on its nuclear-powered submarine “Arihant” which was launched in July last year. Arihant SSBN will be able to carry 12 such missiles. India plans for another three similar submarines to form the core of its sea base nuclear attack force.
India also plans to conduct another test of the endo-atmosphere ballistic missile interceptor called Advanced Air Defense (AAD)between December 18 and 20. This ballistic missile interceptor will try to intercept the target missile acting as an enemy missile. India has already conducted few similar missile interception tests in last few years and plans to deploy the missile defense system in 2012.
The basic purpose of deploying the ballistic missile shield is to detect and destroy the ballistic missiles launched by the Pakistan after Indian aggression into Pakistani territories. Indian pursuit to develop missile defense system is aided by the technological help from the Israel, Russia and France.
USA has so far not offered a direct help in Indian anti-ballistic missile system. But they have already made some indirect contributions by allowing Israel to provide India with long range early warning radars to detect the missiles. These advance radars were developed by the Israel with active participation from the US companies which need US permission for exports.
USA is also offering India most advance version of the Patriot air defense system called Patriot PAC-3. PAC-3 missile system has anti ballistic missile capability and it has been successfully deployed in the Operation Iraqi Freedom in support of US forces.
Also on offer from USA is the SM-2 interceptor along with the AEGIS combat system. This combination has already been test successfully by the USN against the ballistic missiles.
While India is showing no signs of slowing down the development of its ballistic missiles and technologies to undermine the Pakistani ballistic missile, Pakistani government looks to have put a halt on the development and testing of the ballistic missiles. Current government has so far only allowed a single test of already operational Ghauri-I ballistic missile.