Successful Test Firing of Long-Range Missile Agni-5

Agni-5, a Long-Range Surface-to-Surface Nuclear Capable Ballistic missile, was successfully launched from a canister on a road mobile launcher at the Dr Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island) off the coast of Odisha on Monday 10 December 2018, achieving all the mission objectives. Strategic Forces Command (SFC) carried out and monitored the launch operations in presence of Scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other associated officials. This launch, the seventh trial of the indigenously-developed surface-to-surface missile, comes after a series of successful launches of the missile and further strengthens the country’s deterrence capability, which has been developed indigenously by assiduous efforts of scientists. This was the third successful test of Agni-5 this year and the last test was held in June 2018.

  • Agni-5 is the latest and most advanced variant in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.
  • Agni-5 has a strike range of 5000 km to 8000 km.
  • Agni-5 is a three-stage missile and is 17 metre tall and 2 metre wide.
  • Agni-5 is capable of carrying 1.5 tonnes of nuclear warheads.

Under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) launched in 1983, DRDO has so far developed and tested following Agni missile series in India’s armoury:

  • Agni-1 with a range of 700 km to 900 km that is inducted and operational
  • Agni-2 with a range of 2000 km to 3000 km that is inducted and operational
  • Agni-3 with a range of 3500 km to 5000 km that is inducted and operational
  • Agni-4 with a range of 3500 km to 5000 km is under Testing
  • Agni-6 with a range of 8000 km to 10000 km is under development.

Agni-5 is India’s solid fuelled intercontinental (ICBM) developed by DRDO of India that was first test fired in open configuration on 19 April 2012. It has been designed with the addition of a third composite stage to the two-stage Agni-3 missile. It is built with high composite content to reduce the weight. It is a canister launch missile system so as to ensure that it has the requisite operational flexibility and can be swiftly transported and fired from anywhere. The second test launch of Agni-5 was successfully done also in open configuration on 15 September 2013; followed by the canisterised version was successfully tested in January 2015 from the same Wheeler Island. The fourth and fifth launches were also from canister integrated with a mobile launcher that enables the launch of the missile in a shorter time as compared to an open launch.

The nuclear-capable missile is expected to be inducted into India’s Strategic Forces Command soon.

India will join an exclusive club of countries like the US, Russia, China, France, and Britain which has intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities once Agni -5 is inducted in the military.

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