Agni-V to be tested tomorrow
By Hemant Kumar Rout | Published: 14th September 2013 08:38 AM |
After a couple of postponements, India is finally looking forward to second experimental trial of its most potent and longest range nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V which has the ability to target all of Asia and parts of Europe. The indigenously developed surface-to-surface 5000-km range missile has been scheduled to be test-launched from a mobile launcher at the Wheeler Island test facility of Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the Odisha coast on Sunday.
Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and DRDO chief Avinash Chander confirmed to this paper that the missile test was on schedule and it would be test-fired any time before Sunday noon. “The trial is aimed at revalidating some new technologies incorporated in the Agni-V system and gauging the performance of its subsystems. The mission team has worked minutely and meticulously to achieve success with high accuracy,” he hoped.
Agni-V is the most advanced long-range ballistic missile capable of being launched within minutes from a self-contained road mobile launcher.
In terms of technologies, it is country’s most advanced strategic missile and incorporates many new indigenously developed technologies. The missile which can carry a payload of 1.5 tonne is 17 metre long, two metre wide and weighs around 50 tonnes. DRDO is reported to have been working to equip the missile with Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs) through which each missile can carry two to 10 separate nuclear warheads and strike at different places.
Defence scientists are eagerly waiting for a successful test like its maiden trial on April 19 last year when the missile had travelled the desired distance in just 20 minutes. ‘’We expect a better mission accomplishment this time around. This test would be followed by at least two more trials by end of next year before the missile is inducted in the armed forces possibly in 2015,’’ said a defence official.
Though the bigwigs of DRDO have arrived here to witness the launch, there is no programme of Defence Minister AK Antony to witness the missile test from the test range. Sources said hundreds of scientists and technical staff from Hyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Advance Systems Laboratory (ASL), Pune-based Research and Development Establishment (R&DE) and Chandipur-based Integrated Test Range (ITR) besides other various DRDO labs have been camping here since long.
The DRDO chief who is overseeing the launch preparation for the last couple of days here said the missile was ready for the test and the scientists are highly excited for a successful mission. “If weather permits the missile will fly in the sky as per schedule,” he added.