Agni V missile launched successfully

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 26, 2016

The Agni-V missile displayed during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.   -  Reuters

Nuclear enabled missile can hit targets beyond 5,000 km

Defence scientists today signalled conclusively that the country’s missile hit power is now beyond 5,000 km, with the successful launch of the nuclear-capable Agni V missile.

The fourth trial of the long range, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile was on target as it took off around 11.20 am from the Abdul Kalam Island (earlier Wheeler Island), off the coast of Odisha, according to the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

Today’s test could well be the last in the series of developmental trials of the indigenously developed surface-to-air missile, which was first test fired on April 19, 2012. The missile is 17 metres tall, weighs 50 tonnes and is expected to carry upto 15 kg of warhead, nuclear or conventional.

Its three-stage, solid rocket propellant fired systems is a result of efforts by its missile labs and select industries’ collaboration over the decades.

The Monday test firing was also the second Canister version of Agni V, which was launched from a mobile vehicle. President of India Pranab Mukherjee, a former Defence Minister, congratulated the defence scientists.

The next phase could well be a couple of user trials with the Army and then induction into the forces. The significance of the missile in the arsenal is that India can reach all of Asia, parts of Europe, Africa and deep into China with its missile power, says experts.

The DRDO has now developed five version of the Agni series over the past 30 years. The Agni 1 has a reach of 700 km; Agni 2 is 2,000 km; Agni 3 is 2,500 plus and Agni 4 is 3,500 km. These are in various stages of inducted, induction and trials.

The defence scientists claim that the Agni V’s accuracy has been vastly improved with the Micro Navigation System and enhanced software and navigation of the on board computer.

The Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, G Sateesh Reddy said, "The successful test establishes the long range capabilities and critical technologies that are required for this class of missiles"

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Published on December 26, 2016
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