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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India planning launch of over 5000km-range Agni-5 next month

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, April 1, IRNA -- India will join the elite club of nations having Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) with the DRDO planning to carry out the launch of over 5,000 km-range Agni-5 missile next month.

'The Agni-5 will be launched in mid-April. The date of launch has not yet been finalised but it will be done within a week. The missile will have a range of more than 5,000 kms,' DRDO Chief V K Saraswat told a press conference.

He said the technology of the long-range missile is one of the most advanced and closer to the ones being used by countries such as the US.

On the indigenous Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield, Saraswat said it was a two-phase programme first of which would be completed by 2013 and the next by 2016.

He said the premier research organisation will carry out the test of the endo-atmospheric version of the system by intercepting an incoming missile at the altitude of 150 kms and the exo-atmospheric version will be tested next year by intercepting at 30 km.

On the Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas programme, Saraswat said points were raised by the Navy Chief about the flight schedule of the aircraft. 'Within one or two months, the LCA Navy will undergo first test as work was on on its landing gear.'

Asked if India had the means to protect its assets in space, Saraswat said India was working in that direction and was also in the process of deploying special Synthetic Aperture Radars (SAR) on the satellites.

He said missiles such as Agni-4 could also be used for launching micro and mini satellites in future.

The DRDO chief said work was also on towards developing systems for preventing cyber attacks on Government networks and systems.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80057121

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