India on Monday successfully test-fired ‘Agni-5’ missile from the Abdul Kalam Island (earlier referred as Wheeler Island) off Odisha coast on Monday.
The nuclear capable Agni-5, which can even reach the northernmost parts of China with its strike range of over 5,000 km, was test fired from its canister on a launcher truck just after 11 am. “The test parameters of the missile, which was tested for its full range, are being evaluated. It will take some time to say whether it was a full success or not,” said an official.
This fourth and final experimental test of the three-stage Agni-5 if it is fully successful comes after a gap of two years due to minor technical tweaking required in the ballistic missile as well as the need for India to exercise some strategic restraint when it was seeking entry into the 48 countries Nuclear Suppliers Group (which was thwarted by China) and the 34 nation Missile Technology Control Regime (which India joined earlier this year).
The tri-Service SFC, established in 2003 to manage India’s nuclear arsenal, will have to conduct at least two user-trials before the 50-tonne missile is produced in adequate numbers for induction.
While the 17-metre tall Agni-5 was tested in an “open configuration” in April 2012 and September 2013, the third test in January 2015 saw it being fired from a hermetically sealed canister mounted on a Tatra launcher truck. The missile’s canister-launch version makes it even deadlier since it gives the armed forces requisite flexibility to swiftly transport and fire the missile from anywhere they want.
Once the Agni-5 is inducted, India will join the super exclusive club of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500km) alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.
Source: Times of India.