Thursday, 22 February, 2018

India test-fires Agni-V ICBM, hails 'major boost' to military power

India's nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V successfully test fired India's nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V successfully test fired
Andrew Cummings | 18 January, 2018, 13:59

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said India has successfully launched ballistic missile Agni-V.

The nuclear-capable missile, believed to be India's most advanced ICBM, has a range of more than 5,000km, meaning it can strike anywhere in China.

The Indian defence ministry called the missile, which can cover northern-most parts of China, a "major boost" to the country's capabilities. All the radars and electro-optical systems monitored the performance parameters of the weapon and displayed information in real time.

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Describing the trial as "fully successful", the sources said, the sophisticated missile travelled for 19 minutes and covered 4,900 km. Until recently, the longest range missile India had was Agni-III with a range of 3000-3500 km.

The missile, with its 17-meter-long, 2m-wide body, is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead of about 1.5 tons (1,360 kilograms).

The most powerful missile was test-fired from Abdul Kalam island off the Odisha coast at 9:53 am, news agency ANI said. The Agni series of missiles has been developed by DRDO and is part India's expensive and time-consuming quest for an integrated guided missile defense system. This range was not sufficient to reach targets on the extreme eastern and north- eastern region of China. It can carry 1,000kg of nuclear weapons. All four of its previous versions - Agni-1 (range of 700km), Agni-2 (2,000km), and the Agni-3 and Agni-4 (2,500-3,500km) - are now in use in the Indian armed forces. The country, which has successfully tested this type of missile five times since 2012, last completed a launch in December 2016.

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