On the night of 23rd Nov 2009, intermediate-range and nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni II was test fired from Wheeler Island off Orissa coast. However, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has confirmed that the test-fire failed.
The missile took off smoothly and completed its first stage without any glitch, but it met some problems in its second stage. The launch was earlier scheduled for the first week of Nov, but due to some technical snags in its pneumatic system, the launch got delayed. Although that error was fixed, something else led to its failure on Friday, which the DRDO is now investigating.
Agni-II has been developed in India by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with DRDO laboratories. The integration part was done by Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Hyderabad. Other Agni series of missiles include Agni-I (700 km range) and Agni-III (3,500 km range). Agni-I has already been added in the Indian military arsenal, while Agni-III is in the process of induction. Agni II is about 20 metres in length and can carry a payload of one tonne over a distance of 2,000 km.