Agni-V, The Most Lethal Missile in India’s Arsenal, Test-fired Off Odisha Coast
New Delhi, Jan 18: India on Thursday test-fired the nuclear-capable Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Agni-V from the Abdul Kalam Island test facility off the coast of Odisha. Agni-V is the most lethal missile in India’s arsenal. With an officially declared range of over 5,500-5,800 kilometres, the missile is capable of hitting targets anywhere in China. It has all of Asia and parts of Africa and Europe within its range. But defence experts are of the view that its range can be easily extended to at least 8,000 km.
The missile, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program, was test-fired for the first time on April 19, 2012 and since then it has been tested three times more on September 15, 2013, January 31, 2015, and December 26, 2016. The missile is in the process of being operationalised on Thursday’s fifth test will pave the way for its induction into the India Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC). (Also Read: Missiles in Indian Military’s Arsenal And Their Features)
The surface-to-surface, three-stage, solid propellant powered Agni-V is about 17 metres long, two metres wide and weighs over 50 tonnes. It is the latest in the Agni missile series. India already has Agni-I (700 km range), Agni-II (2,000 km range), Agni-III (3,000-5,000 km range) and Agni-IV (3,500-4,000 km range) in its arsenal.
Agni-V’s successful test in 2012 put India in an elite nuclear club of the US, Russia, China, France and the UK which posses nuclear-tipped ICBMs.