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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Maiden test-fire of India's 'Agni-V' missile successful

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, April 19, IRNA -- India on Thursday conducted a successful test-fire of its indigenously developed nuclear capable 'Agni-V' ballistic missile with a strike range of over 5,000 km from a test range off Odisha coast.

'The mission was successful. The missile hit the target in Indian Ocean in a perfect way,' Chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), V K Saraswat said.

The three stage, solid propellant missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Wheeler Island near Dhamara in Odisha state today morning, pti reported quoting defence sources as said, describing the successful trial as a milestone in India's missile programme.

The test-fire of the first of its kind missile, which was originally scheduled to be held yesterday, had to be postponed at the last moment due to bad weather marked by rains and heavy lightning for safety reasons, sources said.

The successful trial of Agni-V, considered by many to be having the features of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), demonstrated giant strides taken by India in its integrated missile development programme.

Only the United States, Russia, France and China possess the capability to operate an ICBM at present.

The surface-to-surface Agni-V is capable of striking a target more than 5,000 km away. It is about 17 meter long and two metre wide with launch weight of around 50 tonnes. The sophisticated missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.

Preparation for Agni-V test had gathered momentum after India achieved successful results from the first development trial of Agni IV, which has a strike range of more than 3,500 km, from the same launch pad on November 15, 2011.

Unlike other missiles of indigenously built Agni series, the latest one - Agni V - is the most advanced version having several new technologies incorporated in it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, said a scientist associated with the project.

India has at present in its armoury of Agni series, Agni 1 with 700 km range, Agni 2 with 2,000 km range, Agni 3 and Agni 4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.

Today's successful trial has put India into an exclusive club of nations possessing such long-range ballistic missile technologies.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister A K Antony described the maiden test flight of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-5 as an 'immaculate success' and a 'major milestone'.

'The nation stands tall today. We have joined the elite club of nations (to possess the ICBM capability),' Antony told the DRDO Chief Dr V K Saraswat on phone after the test flight of the missile was declared successful today.

'The immaculate success of the Agni-5 is a major milestone in the country's missile research and development programme,' he said.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80086456



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