April 19th, 2012
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Agni V successful launch: India a proud elite owner of ICBM

agni-VNew Delhi: India successfully test-fired nuclear-capable Agni-V Inter- Continental Ballistic Missile with a striking range of over 5000 km. India has thus taken a giant leap in fortifying its strategic capability. India is now at the threshold of an elite five-member club that possesses ICBMs. India joined the elite missile club of the US, Russia, France and China.

The surface-to-surface Agni-V was launched from a mobile platform from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast. It rose to a height of 600 km before re-entering the atmosphere to hit a target over 5000 km away in the Indian Ocean.

“We had a successful launch of Agni-V. The missile lifted off at 8.07 hours today,” Defence Research and Development Organisation chief V K Saraswat said after the three-stage solid propellant missile was test fired from launch complex-4 of Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.

The president Mrs Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari and the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh have congratulated DRDO scientists and technical personnel for the successful test launch of Agni – 5. In their separate messages they said nation stands together in the honour of the scientific community who have made the country proud.

Defence Minister A K Antony described the maiden test flight of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agni-5 as an immaculate success and a major milestone. The Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO, Chief, Dr.V.K. Saraswat has said India has emerged as a major missile power with the successful launch of Agni five ballistic missile. Dr Saraswat said the production of the weapon system will start in a year’s time. Dr Saraswat expected the missile to be inducted into the armed forces in the next two years.

Former President of India and missile man, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam said that the great technology leaders have proved everything is possible. Agni-V is an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile with a range of 5000 km range. The test will last 18 to 20 minutes before the missile impacts the target point 5000 km away deep inside the Indian Ocean.The 17-metre-long and 50-tonne missile can carry a 1. 5 tonne nuclear warhead. However, in this mission, it will carry a dummy payload.

The test-fire, which was originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday, had to be deferred at the last moment for safety reasons due to bad weather marked by rains and heavy lightning. New Delhi’s deterrence capability will now be further strengthened and it will push its case for having a greater say at multilateral fora. 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 2,500 km to more than 3,500 km range.

Preparation for Agni-V test had gathered momentum after India achieved successful results from the first development trial of Agni IV, which has a strike range of more than 3,500 km, from the same launch pad on November 15, 2011.

Apart from Saraswat, who is also the scientific advisor to the Defence Minister, a host of top defence scientists, military officials and functionaries of concerned agencies were present at the site to monitor, supervise and witness the maiden test of the new generation missile.

Top scientists present at the test site said at least 20 laboratories of the DRDO were engaged for several months to prepare the state-of-the-art missile. About 800 scientists, staff and support personnel had been engaged to make the first ever launch of the Agni-V a success, they said. Unlike other missiles of indigenously built Agni series, the latest one – Agni V – is the most advanced version having several new technologies incorporated in it in terms of navigation and guidance, warhead and engine, said a scientist associated with the project.

‘Agni Lady’, Katy Thomas, who has been involved with the Agni project, said, “Today we have done a great event for the country. The mission was perfect with all the events being recorded and we had a perfect separation. The stages of guidance system worked wonderfully. “All the teamwork which has gone in for the last three years has given fruitful result today,” she added


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