BHUBANESWAR: In a giant leap in country’s deterrence capability, the most potent surface-to-surface nuclear capable Inter-Continental range Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-V was successfully test-fired from a defence test facility off Odisha coast, on Monday.
Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missile, considered as a game changer was fired for a reduced range and the mission was termed a copy book success.
"Though the missile has the capability to strike targets more than 5,000 km away, it was tested for less than 2,500 km. The missile followed the pre-designated flight path perfectly and reached the point of impact as expected. The duration of entire flight was 19 minutes," said a defence official.
It was fourth trial of Agni-V and first test of a long range missile after India joins Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). With the successful test India has achieved another major milestone in its on-going defence preparedness signaling that this developing country is steadily but surely becoming a super power in the South East Asia region.
Defence sources said the sophisticated missile blasted off from the launching complex-four (LC-IV) of the Abdul Kalam Island at about 11.05 am.
Commanded by the on-board computer with a support of highly accurate ring laser gyro based inertial navigation system, the most modern micro inertial navigation system (MINS), fully digital control system and advanced compact avionics, the missile hit the designated target point accurately, meeting all mission objectives.
The test has demonstrated the maturity, repeatability and robustness of the Agni-V system, paving the way for initiation of its production and subsequent induction, the official said.
The missile, powered by three-stage solid rocket motors had in fact a flawless, spectacular launch in auto mode and followed its entire trajectory in textbook manner, dropping the three motors at predefined stages into the ocean.
All the radars and electro-optical systems monitored the performance parameters of the weapon and displayed information in real time. All the systems and subsystems of the missile, including the launch system, navigation system, control systems, rocket motors and re-entry mechanism performed well.
Agni-V is the country’s first intercontinental range ballistic missile which is capable of hitting targets in all Asian countries and parts of Africa and Europe. The 17-meter long, 2-meter wide, three-stage, solid-fuelled missile can carry a payload of 1.5 tonne and weighs around 50 tonnes.