India successfully launches nuclear capable Agni-5 missile

ODISHA: India today successfully launched its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile 'Agni-5' from the Wheeler Island off Odisha coast.

As planned earleir, the missile was launched at around 10.30 am today. The three stage, solid propellant missile has been test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR), the sources said.

It is the fourth developmental and second canisterised trial of the long range missile. The first test was conducted on April 19, 2012, the second test was carried out on September 15, 2013 and the third on January 31, 2015 from the same base.

The indigenously-developed surface-to-surface missile, Agni-5, is capable of striking a target more than 5,000 km. It is about 17-metre long, 2-metre wide and has launch weight of around 50 tonnes. The missile can carry a nuclear warhead of more than one tonne.

Unlike other missiles of Agni series, the latest one  'Agni-5' is the most advanced having some new technologies incorporated with it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine.

RC Kapur, Former scientist at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, said, "This is the most advanced missile India is going to test using a mobile launcher. It is equipped with the most advanced navigation system. It represents the latest technology, capable of hitting a target with great accuracy."

Lot of new technologies developed indigenously were successfully tested in the first Agni-5 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 on board computer and fault tolerant software along with robust and reliable bus guided the missile flawlessly, an official said.

India has at present in its armoury of Agni series, Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2,000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with with 2,500 km to more than 3500 km range. The new missile is expected to give India a huge advantage over its neighbouring countries, including China and Pakistan.

After some few more trials, Agni-5 will be inducted into the services, sources said.

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