BHUBANESWAR: India on Sunday successfully conducted a user associate trial of inter-continental range ballistic missile Agni-V from a defence base off Odisha coast inching closer towards its early
induction in the armed forces.
Indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the weapon system capable of delivering the nuclear warhead with high precision blasted off from a hermetically sealed canister at Abdul Kalam Island of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 9.50 am.
Defence sources said the missile was fired in full operational configuration and it covered over 4,800 km in 19 minutes. "The successful trial is a major boost to the defence capabilities of the country. The Made-in-India weapon system proved its robustness paving the way for an early induction," said an official.
As the missile is expected to be inducted in the armed forces soon, personnel of the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), specially raised to handle Agni-V, were present during the operations to get acquainted with the system and trained.
The mission team celebrated the moment as the missile pierced into the sky, spewing thick yellow and white smoke. This was the sixth test of the missile and the second this year. All the six missions have been successful.
The flight performance of the indigenously built missile has been tracked and monitored by radars, range stations and electro-optical tracking systems all through its trajectory. All objectives of the mission have been successfully met.
The missile, powered by three-stage solid rocket motors demonstrated a flawless spectacular launch in auto mode and followed its entire trajectory in the textbook manner, dropping the three motors at predefined stages into the Bay of Bengal.
"The test reaffirms the country’s indigenous missile capabilities and further strengthens our credible deterrence. It has now matured. The missile reached its destination and hit the bull's eye," the official added.
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 tonnes and weighs around 50 tonnes.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has congratulated all DRDO scientists, staff, armed forces and industries for the success of Agni-V mission.