BHUBANESWAR: India’s 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 paving the way for its early induction.
Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missile, considered as a game changer, was fired from a hermetically sealed canister for a reduced range and the mission was termed a copy book success.
“Though the missile has the capability to strike targets over 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 missile travelled 2,338 km in 19 minutes,” said an official.
It was fourth trial of Agni-V and second from a canister on road mobile launcher. With the successful test, India has achieved another major milestone in its on-going defence preparedness signaling its rising stake in the South East Asia region.
The sophisticated missile blasted off from the launching complex-four (LC-IV) of the Abdul Kalam Island at about 11 am. A defence release claimed the full range test-flight of the missile has boosted the indigenous missile capabilities and deterrence level of the country.
Commanded by the on-board computer with a support of highly accurate ring laser gyro based navigation system, the micro inertial navigation system (MINS) and 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 prompting 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 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-metre long, two-metre wide, three-stage and solid-fuelled missile can carry a payload of 1.5 tonne and weighs around 50 tonnes.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar congratulated the DRDO for the successful test flight.
“It is the result of hard work of DRDO and its scientists which makes every Indian proud and adds tremendous strength to our strategic defence,” Modi tweeted.