Integrated Test Range

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Last Updated: August 29, 2013
Other Name: ITR; Interim Test Range; Launch Complex-III; Launch Complex-IV; Wheeler Island; Abdul Kalam Island
Location: Balasore, Chandipur and Dhamra, Orissa, India
Subordinate To: Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence (MoD)
Size: 17 kilometers of the Orissa coast and Wheeler Island
Facility Status: Active


NOTE: For clarification, Launch Complex-IV (LC-IV) should not be confused with the Launch Complex-III (LC-III), still occasionally used by the DRDO for ballistic missile tests. LC-III is located at Chandipur-on-Sea, about 75 kilometers north of Wheeler Island, which houses LC-IV. Together, the complexes are commonly referred to as the Integrated Test Range (or occasionally referred to as the Interim Test Range). [1] The test range was originally slated as the National Test Range, however this project was eventually abandoned. Also located at Chandipur-on-Sea, is the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE), a test range for non-missile munitions. [2]

In the early 1980s, the Indian government began to search for a site to build a dedicated military missile test range to begin development of the new Agni missile family. [3] Pending the completion of the new test site, the DRDO built an interim facility adjacent to the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE) at Chandipur in Orissa's Balasore district. In 1986, the Indian government initially decided to build the National Test Range at Baliapal in Orissa's Balasore district and announced plans for a range covering 160 square kilometers, necessitating the evacuation of nearly 100,000 villagers from 130 villages. [4] However in 1995, the federal government gave up the idea of moving the test range from Chandipur to Baliapal, and instead built the new test site known as Launch Complex-IV at nearby Wheeler Island. Nonetheless, the decision to relocate the test site to Wheeler Island created another set of problems, as it is home to endangered Olive Ridley Turtles. [5]

Today, the Integrated Test Range is a dedicated missile test site for ranges up to 5,000 km. Prithvi and Agni I-V ballistic missiles, Akash and Trishul surface-to-air missiles, the Nag anti-tank missile, and Advanced Air Defence (AAD) ballistic missile interceptors have all been tested here. [6] In addition, a number of tracking instruments are used. These include the: Plessey surveillance radar, electro-optical tracking system (mobile and fixed), S-band tracking radar (KAMA-N) (mobile), C-band tracking radar (PCMC) (fixed), telemetry band (fixed and mobile), range computer, close-circuit television system, photo processing system, meteorological system, and range safety system. [7]

In recent years, the range has tested progressively advanced and diversified missile systems. LC-IV tested the Agni-V – India's first ICBM - on 19 April 2012. [8] LC-IV was also the site for the test of India's successful Advanced Air Defence (AAD) anti-ballistic missile on 23 November 2012. [9] In 2015, tests included the Agni-III, Agni-V, and ADD. [10]

[1] Pursuit and Promotion of Science: The Indian Experience, Indian National Science Academy (INSA), New Delhi, 1 January 2001,
[2] “PXE,” Welcome to Balasore Official Website, Departments of Balasore District, National Informatics Centre (NIC),
[3] A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari, Wings of Fire: An Autobiography, (Hyderabad: University Press, 1999).
[4] Paul Routledge, “Baliapal-Bhograi, India: Theater of War, Theater of Displacement,” Cultural Survival Quarterly, 12.3 (Fall 1988).
[5] “Back to Wheeler: Kalam to Revisit his ‘Theatre of Action’ Soon,” The Indian Express, 3 July 2006.
[6] “Ranges,” DESIDOC Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 1, Defence Scientific Information & Documentation Centre (DESIDOC), February 1998; “Air Defence Interceptor Missile Successfully Destroys Ballistic Missile,” Press Release, Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), 23 November 2012.
[7] “Ranges,” DESIDOC Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 1, Defence Scientific Information & Documentation Centre (DESIDOC), February 1998.
[8] Defence Research and Development Organization Press Release, “India Launches New Generation Strategic Missile Agni 5,” 19 April 2012.
[9] Ravi Kumar Gupta, “Air Defence Interceptor Missile Successfully Destroys Ballistic Missile,” Defence Research and Development Organization Press Release, 23 November 2012.
[10] Y. Mallikarjun, "Upgraded Interceptor Missile Successfully Hits Virtual Target," The Hindu, 22 November 2015,

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