India today successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Long Range Ballistic Missile Agni-5, which has a strike range of 5,000 km, off the Odisha coast.
The surface-to-surface missile was launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Dr Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal at 9.48 am, defence sources said. This was the sixth trial of the state-of-the-art Agni-5. The missile covered its full distance during the trial which was a total success, they said.
Defence sources said the missile was fired in full operational configuration and it covered desired range. “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 eletro-optical 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 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 tonne and weighs around 50 tonne.