India launches intercontinental nuclear capable ballistic missile

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India launches intercontinental nuclear capable ballistic missile

NEW DELHI - India on Sunday conducted a successful test of its indigenously developed intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile 'Agni-5' from Dr Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.

The missile was launched with the help of a mobile launcher from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at 9.48 am, defence sources said. The missile covered its full distance during the trial which was a total success, they said.

This was the sixth trial of the state-of-the-art Agni-5. Before this, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had conducted five tests of the Agni-5 missile, the last one on January 18 this year. The first test was conducted on April 19, 2012.

"The flight performance of the missile was tracked and monitored by radars, tracking instruments and observation stations all through the mission," the sources said.

he indigenously-developed surface-to-surface missile, Agni-5, is capable of striking a target at 5,000 km away. 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.

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.It also has advantages of higher reliability, longer shelf life, less maintenance and enhanced mobility.

India has at present in its armoury of Agni series, Agni-1 with 700 km range, Agni-2 with 2000 km range, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with 2500 km to more than 3500km range.

The first test of Agni-5 was conducted on April 19, 2012, the second on September 15, 2013, the third on January 31, 2015 and fourth trial on December 26, 2016 from the same base.

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