India successfully test fires Agni-5 missile

India today successfully tested its 5000 km range Agni-5 nuclear capable inter-continental range ballistic missile that can reach almost all of Asia including sites deep inside China.

In Chennai, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharam said the test of Agni-5 was successful.

"The flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, range stations and tracking systems all through the mission. All objectives of the mission have been successfully met. This successful test of Agni-5 reaffirms the country's indigenous missile capabilities and further strengthens our credible deterrence," a spokesperson of the defence ministry said in a statement.

After four successful developmental trials, this was the first user test of Agni-5 missile in the presence of senior officials from the armed forces. When inducted, the long range weapon would be under the control of the Strategic Forces Command.

All the previous trials were successful. The missile was test-fired from a road mobile canister launcher, at 9.53 am from Dr Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha (earlier known as Wheeler Island). This was the fifth test of the missile and the third consecutive one from a canister on a road mobile launcher.

A road mobile canister gives the armed forces shorter preparation time for the missile launch and better mobility.

The missile's last trial in December 2016 was its last developmental flight, conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Besides the SFC those who witnessed the morning launch included Project Director, Agni-5, G Ramaguru; Programme Director, Agni, M R M Babu and Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister, G Satheesh Reddy and Director General, Missiles and Strategic Systems at DRDO.

DRDO carried out the first two trials of Agni-5 in 2012 and 2013 in open configuration, but the subsequent three launches were from a canister, which would be the deliverable configuration of the missile.

With the three stage Agni-5 missile, India expands its missile footprint much beyond Pakistan and matches Chinese capability.

While Pakistan's most advanced Shaheen-2 missile is a two-stage rocket that can travel a distance of 1,200 km, China has a three-stage system that can travel up to a distance of 10,000 km bringing the entire India and the Pacific zones within China's reach.

The Defence Minister congratulated DRDO and the industries who contributed to the manufacture of indigenous technologies that went into the making of the missile.

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