Sunday, May 4, 2008

Finally... (updated)

In several posts I mentioned the contradictory information about the next Agni-III test. In between April 27 was floated as a potential test date. Yesterday the Times Now came up with some information according to which India is set to test the Agni-III in the next five days, between May 5 and May 9.

India is also in another field of missile acquisition: one week ago The Hindu reported that the Indian Army has floated global tenders to acquire new range of quick reaction surface-to-air missiles to provide air cover to its rapid formations:

The missile will have a range of 8 to 9 kms to strike air targets like low flying fighters, armed helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Combat Vehicles, army sources said here.[…]

Under the acquisition programme, Army plans to buy 18 to 20 launchers of such missiles, with the Request For Proposals being sent to companies in Israel, French, European consortium MBDA and French and Russian Companies.

The new Missiles seek to replace the army's ageing shoulder fired SAM-7 missiles, Strela missiles as well as Russian acquired ZU-23 rapid firing guns.

UPDATE: Today The Hindu narrowed down the timeframe. It informs that the test is slated for May 7, although the window period was up to May 9.

Top DRDO sources told The Hindu on Sunday that the proposed launch would be a “validation test” for higher performance in terms of weight and payload capacity. Apart from new software for navigation and guidance controls to achieve better accuracy, an improved re-entry material would be tested.

High-temperature navigation antennae, developed specially for the system, are among other new features that the missile will carry on-board. “We need different materials since it will be flying at a much higher speed.”

The Hindu also reports that the upcoming test is likely to be the last developmental flight trial in the Agni-III series.

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