Wheeler Island, India

Wheeler Island, India

Wheeler Island is an island off the coast of Orissa, India. It is approximately 150 km from the state capital Bhubaneshwar. India maintains a missile testing facility on the island; the Agni-III intermediate-range ballistic missile test was fired from here.

Wheeler Island is located approximately 10 kilometers off the East coast of India on the Bay of Bengal and about 70 kilometers south of Chandipur in Orissa. The island is approximately 2 kilometers long and occupies about 390 acres. Wheeler Island is the missile test facility for the AGNI (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM).

Access to the test facility is by ship as there is no bridge or airport connecting the island to the mainland. There is a small helipad, but missile airframes and all supplies, construction materials and heavy equipment arrives by ship.

The test facility consists of a launch pad, missile assembly/checkout buildings, and several administrative, and support buildings. Missile airframes are transported from the pier to the launch pad by a 2.3 kilometer long rail line, that connects the missile assembly buildings.

Seven new buildings have been indentified since May 31, 2000 including three probably missile assembly/support buildings, and a probable headquarters or administration building.

A possible AGNI II missile airframe is visible in the most recent Ikonos imagery dating October 27, 2001.

External links

* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/india/wheeler-imagery.htm Wheeler Island Missile Facility] - GlobalSecurity

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