On Sunday at about 8:50 AM, India conducted a second test fired of its indigenously developed nuclear- capable ‘Agni-V’ long-range ballistic missile, which has a strike range of more than 5000 km, from the Wheeler Island in Odisha coast. The three stage, solid propellant missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).
The maiden flight test carried out on April 19 last was a stupendous success and injected India into a group of select nations that possessed the technology for developing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
Unlike other missiles of indigenously built Agni series, the latest one ‘AGNI-V’ is the most advanced version having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
The surface-to-surface missile, which can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne, witnessed an ‘auto launch’ and detail results of the trial will be known after thorough analyses of all data retrieved from different radars and network systems.
In the Agni series, India at present has Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500 range.
After few more trials, Agni-V will be inducted into the services. Once the 17.5-metre tall Agni-V becomes fully operational, India will fully break into the super-exclusive ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) club of the US, Russia, China, France and the UK that wield such missiles.