India has successfully conducted the second test-flight of Agni 5 – country’s most potent nuclear capable inter-continental ballistic missile -- from Wheeler’s Island, off Odisha coast.
The missile, which is capable of reaching deep into China and as far as Europe, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 8.48 am and started rising exactly the way it was designed to, said an official of the Integrated Test Range of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO).
The maiden flight test of the indigenously built 5000-km-range missile on April 19 last year had catapulted India to an exclusive club of countries like the US, Russia, China, France and Britain that possess the technology to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
The 17-metre-high and two-metre-wide missile, which can carry a payload of 1.5 tonne, has most of the countries in the world in its striking distance.
The surface-to-surface missile 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, defence sources said.
"The sleek missile, within a few seconds of its blast-off from the Island launch pad, roared majestically into a clear sunny sky, leaving behind a trail of thin orange and white column of smoke and within seconds it pierced into sky," said an eyewitness to the launch.
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.
Many new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the first Agni-V trial.
The redundant navigation systems, very high accuracy Ring Laser Gyro-based Inertial Navigation System (RINS) and the most modern and accurate Micro-Navigation System (MINS) had ensured the missile reach the target point within few metres of accuracy.
The high-speed onboard computer and fault tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus guided the missile flawlessly, said a defence official.
After some more trials, Agni-V will be inducted into the services, the sources said.
(With inputs from PTI)
Must-knows about Agni V
1. Agni-V is India's first long-range missile capable of reaching deep into China and as far as Europe.
2. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Agni V weighs 50-tonnes and is 17-metres (56 feet) high.
3. The surface-to-surface, three stage solid propellant missile is designed to deliver nuclear warheads of 1000 kg at a range of 5000 km.
4. The launch of the Indian-made Agni V, if successful, would be the crowning achievement of a missile programme developed primarily to counter any threat from China.
5. Only the UN Security Council permanent members -- China, France, Russia, the United States and Britain -- have such long-range weapons.
6. It was first tested in April 2012.
7. The DRDO is expected to conduct at least three more tests before declaring the ballistic missile operational and ready for being inducted into the military. That may take two to three years.
8. Agni-V is part of the Agni series of missiles developed by DRDO which includes Agni-I with a 700 km range, Agni-II with 2,000 km, Agni-III with a 3,000 km range and Agni-IV with 4,000 km range.