India successfully test fires Agni-5

Bhubaneswar: India on Thursday joined the club of US, Russia, France and China who possess the capability to operate an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) as the country test-fired its indigenously built 5,000 km range ICBM Agni-5 missile from a test range in Wheeler island, Dhamara off the coast of Odisha.

The surface-to-surface, 17-metre tall missile weighing 50 ton can carry payload of 1100kg and target any Chinese location and large parts of Europe as well.

While India has fixed up a target for inducting the ICBM in the Indian Army by 2014, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to conduct more such tests of the missile over the next one year after studying and analyzing the parameters achieved in each subsequent trial.

DRDO Chief V K Saraswat had recently said that the missile is being integrated at various facilities for the test launch which will be witnessed by military officials and other agencies which participated in its development.

In November last year, DRDO had test fired the 3,500 km range Agni-4 missile giving muscle to India`s deterrent capability against the military adversaries.

DRDO has also placed necessary equipments to collect data on the trajectory and flight of the missile and other necessary data which will be studied further for its future development.

The maiden flight test of Agni-5, was postponed on Wednesday due to bad weather.

Agni-5 is a three-stage, all solid fuel powered missile with multiple independent targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) which means the missile can target several areas simultaneously with one-tonne nuclear warhead.