BHUBANESWAR: India on Thursday successfully conducted the pre-induction test of the country’s longest-range nuke-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Agni-V from a defence base off the Odisha coast.
The most sophisticated and complex 5000-km range weapon system capable of delivering a nuclear warhead with high precision was test fired amid China’s concern over India’s inter-continental missile capabilities.
Defence sources said the indigenously built Inter-Continental range Ballistic Missile (ICBM) blasted off from a canister at the Abdul Kalam Island, a part of Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 9.50 am.
The entire mission team celebrated the moment as the missile pierced into the sky, spewing thick yellow and white smoke.
"The test was highly successful as Agni-V demonstrated the maturity, repeatability and robustness of the system, paving the way for initiation of its production and subsequent induction," said a defence official over phone from New Delhi.
A symbol of DRDO’s technological excellence and India’s strength, the missile flew on a predefined path and reached its destination with expected precision.
“We are ready to go further and the system has to get inducted fast. Three consecutive success of the canisterised version of the missile has proved the designs are just perfect and the system is matured. Now the missile is ready for the production,” the official told The New Indian Express.
The missile, powered by three-stage solid rocket motors had infact a flawless, spectacular launch in auto mode and followed its entire trajectory in a textbook manner, dropping the three motors at predefined stages into the Bay of Bengal.
Commanded by the onboard computer with a support of highly accurate ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system, 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.
Three warships – one in midrange and two at the target point tracked the missile and witnessed the final event. 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, a navigation system, control systems, rocket motors and re-entry mechanism performed well. The re-entry heat shield withstood temperatures of over 3000-degree centigrade and made the avionics function normally.
As the missile is expected to be inducted in the armed forces soon, personnel of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) along with its top brass was present during all the operations to get acquainted with the system and trained.
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.