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India test fires indigenously-developed 5000-km-range Agni-5 missile

This was the seventh trial of the state-of-the-art Agni-V ballistic missile. It was last tested on June 3, 2018.

India test fires indigenously-developed 5000-km-range Agni-5 missile

Bhubaneswar: India on Monday successfully test fired its indigenously developed nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V off the Odisha coast. The surface-to-surface missile has a strike range of 5,000 km. The missile was launched at 1.30 pm from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island in Bhadrak district.

The missile developed by the Strategic Forces Command and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is the most advanced in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine. This was the seventh trial of the state-of-the-art Agni-V ballistic missile. It was last tested on June 3, 2018.

Agni-V is a three-stage missile, 17 metres tall, two metres wide and capable of carrying 1.5 tonne of nuclear warheads. Unlike other missiles of the series, Agni-5 is the most-advanced in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.

"The 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 on Monday afternoon," a defence source told news agency PTI. It was a user associated trial and strategic force command conducted by DRDO scientists. 

The missile has been designed to hit the designated target point accurately, guided by the on-board computer with the support of a Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System, the Micro Inertial Navigation System, fully-digital control system and advanced compact avionics, as per DRDO officials.

The first two flights of Agni-5 in 2012 and 2013 were in open configuration. The third, fourth and fifth launches were from canister integrated with a mobile launcher, in its deliverable configuration to enable launch of the missile with a very short preparation time as compared to an open launch.

The sixth trial was in June during which the missile was fired from a mobile launcher. Several new technologies were successfully tested during the sixth trial.

The Agni-5 also has advantages of higher reliability, longer shelf life, less maintenance and enhanced mobility, according to sources.

India has in its armoury the Agni series - Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with a 2,000-km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2,500 km to more than 3,500-km range.