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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India to fire 5,000 km range Agni missile by December 2010

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Feb 13, IRNA -- India is likely to fire its Agni-V ballistic missile with a range of 5,000 km by the end of 2010, a senior official of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said Friday.

'We should be able to do something before December 2010,' DRDO chief M. Natarajan as said in Bangalore, IANS reported.

After the successful test of the 3,500 km range Agni-III in May last year, scientists are now working to club the first and second stage of the missile to increase its range to 5,000 km.

'We will be working on capitalising the first and second stages,' Natarajan explained.

Agni-III is capable of carrying warheads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes, is 16 metres tall and weighs 48 tonnes.

Agni-I is a 750-800 km short-range missile. Agni-II has a range of more than 1,500 km. Both have already been inducted in the armed forces.

While Agni-III is capable of reaching strategic targets deep inside China like Beijing and Shanghai, it falls short of being an ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) that has a range of over 5,000 km.

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